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Pennsylvania DUI Case Law

May 17, 2012

2. Law, 6. Trial

I’m researching a point of law on the two-hour rule.  I came across a fellow attorneys’ site (Morrow & Artim, Pittsburgh, PA) that has a great list of Pennsylvania DUI cases.  I’ve included the first seven below; click on the link below the list to go to their site to see the remaining cases.

For most cases, you can Google the cite (“2010 Pa. Super. 83″ for the one immediately below) to get the full text.

1. Comm. v. Marconi, 2010 Pa. Super. 83 (Pa. Super.
2010) – Sheriffs lack authority to conduct and operate DUI roadblocks without assistance of police officers.

2. Comm. v. Duda, 923 A.2d 1138 (Pa. 2007) –

a. That aperson’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) may be below the percentage range at the time of driving is of no consequence, because the criminal act identified in the statute is the drinking of a sufficient quantity of alcohol to cause the elevated BAC reading within the two-hour window.

b.Under the rational basis test, the statute’s two-hour rule is not overbroad as being beyond the state’s police power or by criminalizing constitutionally protect activity, because the state has a legitimate interest in curbing alcohol- or drug-related accidents, and driving after drinking or after using illegal or controlled substances is not a constitutionally protected activity.

3. Comm. v. Etchison, 916 A.2d 1169 (Pa. Super. 2007) –

a. Under the rational basis test, the statute’s two-hour rule is not overbroad as being beyond the state’s police power or by criminalizing constitutionally protect activity, because the state has a legitimate interest in curbing alcohol- or drug-related accidents, and driving after drinking or after using illegal or controlled substances is not a constitutionally protected activity.

b. Because neither a suspect class nor a fundamental right is involved in an equal protection challenge to the DUI laws, the proper inquiry is whether a rational basis exists for the legislative classification and whether that classification has a fair and substantial relationship to the object of the legislation. Section 3802(d)(1) does not violate equal protection because it treats all drivers similarly.

4. Comm. v. Thur, 906 A.2d 552 (Pa. Super. 2006) – It is constitutionally permissible to require a driver to predict his Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at some reasonable future time after drinking; furthermore, the legislature’s attempt to more affectively deter drunk driving by extending the time period in which elevated BAC is outlawed is rational and does not offend due process.

5. Alexander v. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing, 583 Pa. 592 (2005) – Prior convictions of DUI within the last ten years that occurred before the enactment of the interlock law are still considered prior offenses for sentencing purposes.

6. Comm. v. Scavello, 557 PA. 429 (1999) – A motorist may avoid a checkpoint if he can do so lawfully, and the lawful avoidance of a checkpoint is not grounds for a vehicle stop.

7. Comm. v. Downs, 739 A.2d 569 (Pa. Super. 1999) – You may be charged with Driving on a Suspend license for a DUI-related offense even if you have completed service of the DUI suspension, but have not had your operating privilege restored by the state department of transportation.  This also applies if you drive while under suspension for a non-DUI offense if the DUI-related suspension has not yet begun.

Go here to read the rest.

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About Clyde

Clyde is the lead attorney in the firm. Licensed to practice in 1993, he's also taught Constitutional and Criminal Law for several years at a private university, primarily at the Master's level.

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