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DUI stop leads to many other charges

Many people who assume the risk of driving while intoxicated do not always realize the risk of being charged with several serious crimes if they are stopped for a possible DUI.

A recent arrest in Akron Borough demonstrates how these additional charges may quickly pile up.

The incident

According to news reports, a police officer was making a routine patrol in Akron Borough when he noticed what appeared to be impaired driving when a Chevrolet Equinox veered into the opposite driving lane after making a turn. The officer also noticed that the vehicle had expired state inspection and emission stickers and was exceeding the local posted speed limit.

The officer pulled the car over and noticed that the driver showed clear signs of impairment. An open alcoholic beverage container was conspicuously visible inside the vehicle. The driver struggled when asked to provide his driver’s license and personal identification. When the man’s driver’s license number was received at headquarters, the officer on duty discovered that the driver’s license had been suspended due to a previous DUI and that he was subject to an active bench warrant issued by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver’s situation grew worse when he admitted to the traffic officer that he had consumed vodka from the open container. He was immediately placed under arrest and transported to the West Earl Police for processing; after processing was completed, the man was handed over to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office due to the outstanding warrant.

After processing was complete, the defendant was charged with various DUI offenses, driving with a DUI-suspended-license, operating a vehicle without a valid inspection, expired emission inspection, and operating a vehicle with an open alcoholic beverage container.

Presumption of innocence

While the evidence in this case appears to be especially persuasive, the defendant is nevertheless presumed to be innocent unless and until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

With a well-crafted criminal defense strategy, a defendant may be able to successfully challenge the admission of the evidence of other crimes beyond the DUI or otherwise soften the criminal penalties with a favorable plea agreement.