+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20
  1. #1
    bitteritpro is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5

    PA DUI 2 Hour rule. not guilty

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Pennsylvania

    Hi. On July 3rd I was arrested for a DUI i did not commit. I apologize for the length. Let me explain.

    I could not sleep early in the morning and decided to get up. I knew I was not going back to bed so I decided I would be a bit productive and got in my vehicle and headed for a convenience store about 10 miles away (I live in a pretty rural area) to grab a pack of cigarettes for the day and a coffee. When I got about 2 miles from my home I was startled by a deer and I swerved to miss it and managed to put my vehicle into a ditch I could not get out of. There were no other vehicles involved. There were no injuries and no vehicle or property damage. I do not have a cell phone and so I started hiking back home. This took about an hour (up hill, all the way!!). When I got back at about 4:30AM my significant other was up and worried sick about me.

    A point i have to make here. I am a type 1 diabetic so the two mile hike i am sure pushed my blood sugar quite low and most likely impaired my judgment. I was pretty shook up so i downed a coke to get my sugar up and then proceeded to fill an 8 oz glass up with vodka 1 and a half times and down them. (I know the health issues here, as I said mia culpa, i was loopy from low blood sugar).

    At 7:33 AM I made a call from my home phone to my mom who knows someone with a truck to see if we could possibly pull my vehicle out. I know this because it is on her caller ID. The person with the truck was not available but she rode out and we rode down together to have a look in the daylight. I knew as i climbed down with a board for possible traction that it was pointless and climbed back up and went home to make a few calls to a friend to look for a tow.

    About 9:10 or so the police came to my door. i had said that i guessed they were there about the truck and I was looking to get it out. they asked me to come out and proceeded to field sobriety test me, tell me i failed, and put me in the car for a breathalyzer test back at the station. I told them exactly what had transpired and they i have witnesses at to what happened when, times etc. I knew at that point i was obviously intoxicated, i had no reason to deny it, i had done nothing illegal.

    The policeman claimed the engine was hot which is a blatant lie. i felt it the other day after having driven for 45 minutes and the hood surface was barely warm.

    I have been essentially interviewing attorneys looking for someone who will actually defend me, rather than tell me how they can get me a plea bargain. I WILL NOT plead guilty to something I have not done. I have witnesses and call records. Do I have any hope here?
  2. #2
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    16,606
    That's a nice story. Get a lawyer.

    There is always the option of ARD. You don't have to plead anything to get ARD.
  3. #3
    LSCAP is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    nc
    Posts
    752
    Yes get a lawyer.

    I don't see where they have a case.
    A warm engine? heck you could have had ten drinks between the time of the accident and the arrival of the police, at your home!

    And, I donít drink booze and I DO HATE drunk drivers. But I am fussy about legal technicalities.



    OJ would still be in jail for two murders, if they all followed the book.
  4. #4
    bitteritpro is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    That's a nice story. Get a lawyer.

    There is always the option of ARD. You don't have to plead anything to get ARD.
    a "story" is where someone has an excuse without any corroborating evidence. I have plenty of that, as well as witnesses.

    Simply put, ARD is for offenders, no matter what technicality it is couched in. I have committed no crime. when I say I was sober, i don't mean sober as in "i only had 1 or 2 drinks hours ago, honestly"; I mean sober as in having not consumed anything alcoholic in the preceding 7 days.

    Even when I have had low blood sugar, and this is all very new to me, I was only diagnosed in October, I have never done anything as stupid as climb behind the wheel after drinking. Why would I need to? I am already home.

    Look, I have been jerked around by the world in general enough in the last year. So far since May 2008, my now ex wife admitted to an affair with my best friend and I eventually discoered she had intentionally become pregnant by him. Lost 3/4 of my household income in the process, and been diagnosed with a life threatening illness that will follow me for the rest of my life; which was actively ignored by my ex-wife, an RN, possibly in an effort to get me out of the picture.

    Throughout all of this I have maintained a somewhat normal life, without doing anything stupid, illegal, dangerous, or otherwise threatening to my friends, family, or neighbors.

    But I have had enough. I am putting my foot down. I knew nothing about the justice system before this, but I have learned very quickly. I have learned that it is a farce; a system designed to be inaccessible to the actual citizens it is purported to serve, and is set up to put you into one of the little slots that they have set up because it is assumed that if you are accused, you must be guilty.

    I have done nothing wrong. I have found a lawyer, but i find it ridiculous and offensive to the extreme that i have to speak to several before i found someone that was willing to defend me, rather than be part of the system and try and fast track me into ARD; in other words jump through the little hoops designed for those they have determined are some sort of menace, simply based upon the suspicions of someone who, although having personally seen nothing, and been given corroborating evidence, can rope a law abiding citizen into a system designed to extract as much money as possible, based upon some arbitrary standard of a hood feeling "warm" to the touch.

    I am sorry to rant, but I am so fed up and frustrated at the moment; words cannot describe how I feel.
  5. #5
    bitteritpro is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by LSCAP View Post
    Yes get a lawyer.

    I don't see where they have a case.
    A warm engine? heck you could have had ten drinks between the time of the accident and the arrival of the police, at your home!

    And, I donít drink booze and I DO HATE drunk drivers. But I am fussy about legal technicalities.



    OJ would still be in jail for two murders, if they all followed the book.
    I agree however I don't see it as a technicality.

    COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA vs. FRANK BERNARD SCARFO seems pretty definitive and clear on the subject.

    While heat given off by the engine of a vehicle is evidence of its operation, it does not establish when that operation occurred. The court is unaware, and no evidence was presented, of an equation whereby feeling a certain amount of heat from the engine area equals a certain amount of time having elapsed since the vehicle was operated. The evidence presented was insufficient to establish a violation of Section 3802(b) of the Motor Vehicle Code.
    I have yet to discuss this matter to my attorney but from my reading it would seem that a warm engine is insufficient grounds to establish a prima facia case for DUI.
  6. #6
    Yertle8 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    207
    Quote Originally Posted by bitteritpro View Post
    a "story" is where someone has an excuse without any corroborating evidence. I have plenty of that, as well as witnesses.
    A story isn't necessarily untrue. You have no witnesses to the accident, and the only witness you have to when you drank is someone you're living with (i.e. someone who might lie for you - I'm not making a judgement there, I don't know you/her, just saying that will be the perception.)

    Quote Originally Posted by bitteritpro View Post
    Simply put, ARD is for offenders, no matter what technicality it is couched in. I have committed no crime.
    Not so simply put, ARD is for first time offenders and for people who realize that a lawyer will cost more than the ARD fines and fighting the case might get you the same outcome as ARD (no conviction and expungement) but also might not. With ARD you're guaranteed those things as long as long as you can follow the rules.

    I know that if your story is true (and maybe even if it isn't) you feel you have the moral high ground. Fortunately, you'll have a month or two to let your emotions settle down before you have to make a decision, because it should be a rational one, not a rash one. Fighting it might be in your best interest, but in a lot of cases ARD is the best choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by bitteritpro View Post
    But I have had enough. I am putting my foot down. I knew nothing about the justice system before this, but I have learned very quickly. I have learned that it is a farce; a system designed to be inaccessible to the actual citizens it is purported to serve, and is set up to put you into one of the little slots that they have set up because it is assumed that if you are accused, you must be guilty.
    It's not really like that, but it's a little like that when it comes to DUI. Implied consent coupled with the idea that a breathalyzer is infallible means you've got an uphill (read: costly) battle in proving your innocence.

    When I stood in line waiting to pay my ARD fines I talked to a bunch of people who probably could have beaten the charge. Several of them were never observed driving by anyone. But they weighed the option of getting a lawyer and hiring expert witnesses against paying the $2000, doing some community service, and going to a few classes and decided that was the way to go.

    Good luck.
  7. #7
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    16,606
    Further the "Two Hour rule" that you cite, you should read. If indeed you are inside that two hour window, it doesn't matter if you started drinking in your diabetic stupor after you drove or not.

    As I said, you need a lawyer.
    Being the father of a type I diabetic, I still think it's a nice story.
  8. #8
    xylene is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    St. Richard's
    Posts
    8,750

    Don't drink after a car accident but before reporting it...

    Will save you much hassle

    Diabetes is not an excuse for any of this.

    You were charged with DUI because there was an accident and when you were interviewed by the police you were legally drunk. I don't know what you weight, but unless it is a frickin ton, 12 oz of vodka in 5 minutes is pretty high BAC

    The police are not going to say - "Oh he's just a diabetic lush, there is no way he was out partying on JULY 3 and thought he could wait to report an accident..."

    Yours story (true or not) is as old as the hills. "No officer I wasn't drunk THEN..."

    The police had probable cause to arrest you.

    Probable cause does NOT mean you are guilty.
  9. #9
    bitteritpro is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by xylene View Post
    Will save you much hassle

    Diabetes is not an excuse for any of this.

    You were charged with DUI because there was an accident and when you were interviewed by the police you were legally drunk. I don't know what you weight, but unless it is a frickin ton, 12 oz of vodka in 5 minutes is pretty high BAC

    The police are not going to say - "Oh he's just a diabetic lush, there is no way he was out partying on JULY 3 and thought he could wait to report an accident..."

    Yours story (true or not) is as old as the hills. "No officer I wasn't drunk THEN..."

    The police had probable cause to arrest you.

    Probable cause does NOT mean you are guilty.
    Never said it is an excuse, but it is an explanation. I now know it was not proper procedure but I was always under the impression that a one car accident that involved no injury, property or vehicle damage did not require police notification. Regardless i have retrieved the telephone records from the time i was alleged to be out driving around. As I said, I was not, and the phone records pretty much bear that out. The burden of proof lies with the state and it will be very difficult to prove I was out cavorting around when there is record I was at home making phone calls. I don't have a cell so the only place the calls could have been made from was my home.
  10. #10
    xylene is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    St. Richard's
    Posts
    8,750
    Quote Originally Posted by bitteritpro View Post
    Never said it is an excuse, but it is an explanation. I now know it was not proper procedure but I was always under the impression that a one car accident that involved no injury, property or vehicle damage did not require police notification. Regardless i have retrieved the telephone records from the time i was alleged to be out driving around. As I said, I was not, and the phone records pretty much bear that out. The burden of proof lies with the state and it will be very difficult to prove I was out cavorting around when there is record I was at home making phone calls. I don't have a cell so the only place the calls could have been made from was my home.
    Just be sure you get a lawyer.

    As to the telephone calls - they establish SOMEONE used your home telephone...
  11. #11
    bitteritpro is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by xylene View Post
    Just be sure you get a lawyer.

    As to the telephone calls - they establish SOMEONE used your home telephone...
    I do have an attorney. He is pretty convinced they don't have a leg to stand on. As I said the burden of proof is on them, and minus any evidence to the contrary, which there isn't since I wasn't there, they have no case, unless somewhere along the way the Constitution has been changed to guilty until proven innocent beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am unaware of.

    However I do appreciate your devil's advocacy.

    Over all I guess I am a bit naive. I have often been accused of being so. I have never engaged in any illegal activity so I suppose I just don't have a CYA mentality. All i knew at the time is that I missed a deer, walked two miles home at 4:30AM, and in a fit of frustration and stupidity, pounded a little too much. after making a bunch of calls to try and find a tow that woasn't going to cost me an arm and a leg, 6 hours later the police show up at my house and haul me away. I mean if I were devious minded, I'd have just not answered the door, or had someone else answer and tell them i was gone for the afternoon; but naive honesty has placed me into a difficult position of proving them wrong.

    BTW: love your location. one of my favorite episodes.
  12. #12
    Yertle8 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    207
    Like xylene said, the records mean someone made the calls, not necessarily you.

    It's good for you that the police didn't find you drunk on the scene, but by no means is it open and shut in your favor. Be prepared for a fight and don't even think of doing it alone.
  13. #13
    BigMistakeFl is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    1,618
    the burden of proof is on them, and minus any evidence to the contrary, which there isn't since I wasn't there, they have no case, unless somewhere along the way the Constitution has been changed to guilty until proven innocent beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am unaware of.
    I'm not popular for saying this, but you would be surprised how the "burden of proof" has changed for DUI prosecution.
  14. #14
    Yertle8 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    207
    Quote Originally Posted by BigMistakeFl View Post
    I'm not popular for saying this, but you would be surprised how the "burden of proof" has changed for DUI prosecution.
    Very true from my experience. Personally, I was guilty, but going through the process, I was very surprised at how difficult it would be for a non-guilty person to prove their innocence, which is what was expected when I was in court.

    OP, before turning down ARD, you really should check out the extremely low aquittal/dismissal rates for PA DUI. And weigh it against the cost of your lawyer who might get you off (ARD will).

    I talked to a lawyer who guaranteed me that he could get my case into the lowest tier, meaning I'd just pay a $300 fine and be on my way, not lose my license. He, of course, didn't bring up that it would mean I'd have a misdemeanor. He wanted to charge $4500. I'm sure your lawyer is charging less, but regardless, I did ARD, $2000 in costs, no conviction.
  15. #15
    BigMistakeFl is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Florida
    Posts
    1,618
    As an example, I wonder how many people out there still assume that they have to be read Miranda Rights for a DUI.

Similar Threads

  1. Lunch forced to take as first or last hour of 8 hour shift,
    By Jgoostree in forum Fringe Benefits
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-19-2010, 11:29 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-03-2010, 05:49 PM
  3. 24 hour rule in tanning salons?
    By tbud333 in forum Starting and Operating a Business
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-09-2009, 05:02 PM
  4. 48 hour rule
    By DanteMarx in forum Landlord / Tenant Issues
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-18-2005, 06:13 PM
  5. Can I be forced onto FMLA if not even eligible under the 1250 hour rule?
    By Philip N. Beam in forum Hiring, Firing & Wrongful Termination
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-25-2000, 10:10 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.