Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drug that impairs a person’s thought and reaction times often leads to other criminal charges that far outweigh drunk driving. A recent arrest in Reading illustrates the point.
According to news reports, police stopped the suspect’s car because they noticed several equipment defects and because they suspected the driver of being intoxicated. After consulting their onboard computer, police learned that the suspect had an outstanding arrest warrant, and they instructed him to get out of the car.
Instead of complying, the suspect became combative toward the police and remained in the vehicle. He drove off, and police pursued the vehicle for nearly 20 miles until it crashed.
One of the passengers, a woman who was riding in the front seat, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other passenger and the suspect were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of their injuries.
The driver was arraigned before a district judge who ordered him confined in Monroe County Prison without bail to await a second hearing.
The suspect’s prior criminal history proved to be interesting. In 2020, he pleaded no contest in Lancaster County to indecently assaulting a person under 13 years of age. He was sentenced to 11 months in prison followed by 11 months of parole.
The man was ordered to undergo a sex offender evaluation before any release, and he is listed in Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law registry as a sexually violent predator.
The events that led to his current arrest caused the driver to be charged with vehicular homicide while being intoxicated. He was also charged with drug trafficking, possessing drug paraphernalia, and two counts of reckless endangerment of human life.
The defendant in this case is facing very serious criminal charges. His prior record will add significant weight to any conviction from the current charges. If convicted, he could face a lengthy incarceration, a monetary fine, and loss of driving privileges.
It’s important to remember that those who are charged with a crime must be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. They have the right to a criminal defense.