Wednesday, November 27, 2013


The Thanksgiving holiday and Steeler game are two great reasons for celebrating.  It is under these circumstances that good people can make bad decisions with respect to alcohol and driving.   Although many people refer to the Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol law as “Drunk Driving,” this is not technically accurate.  One need not be “drunk” to be arrested and prosecuted for D.U.I.; one need merely be “under the influence.”  The difference between being “drunk” and “under the influence” is significant, and will cause many well-intentioned and good people to drive when they feel as though they are capable.  This mistaken feeling can get one arrested.  If you have suffered the unfortunate fate of being stopped by police and tested for D.U.I., be polite and cooperative with police during the entire testing process.  The police are in control and will administer the testing which is appropriate.  However, do not make any verbal admissions to wrongdoing, and upon your release by police, contact a lawyer who specializes in D.U.I. defense.  This is the smart way to handle this serious situation.  I will be available to assist during the holiday and weekend at 412.391.7999.  Have a blessed holiday and weekend. 
Joseph A. Paletta, Esq.  

Statewide Halloween DUI Checkpoints lead to many DUI arrests.

The Waynesboro Record Harold reported in the article below that statewide DUI task force units would set up many checkpoints during Halloween.
Many Pennsylvania drivers were charged with DUI related crimes after police conducted these statewide DUI Checkpoints targeting those who were celebrating Halloween.  If you are one of the many charged as a result of a DUI checkpoint, contact this office immediately to discuss your case.

Joseph A. Paletta, Esq.


Posted Oct. 28, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

Halloween is a holiday adults can celebrate as much as kids, but they need to remember impairment begins with the first drink, according to Officer Matthew Schmidt of the Washington Township Police Department and the Franklin County DUI task force, which will set up holiday checkpoints. “Buzzed driving is drunk driving, and police will be on the lookout for impaired drivers,” he said. “Last year, nearly 12,000 crashes in Pennsylvania involved alcohol, and more than 400 people were killed in those crashes. Designate a sober driver before you head out this Halloween.”

DUI - Recent Case Result

DUI 'tiers' - Your level of intoxication affects how you'll be punished: The Judicial Notice

Repost from:
on October 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM, updated October 15, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Driving under the influence is one of the most oft-committed crimes in this area. In 2012, Cumberland County had 1,712 DUI cases filed, and there have been 1,315 filed so far for 2013. DUI is such a major component of the criminal justice system that Cumberland County’s “Central Court” is dedicated solely to this offense.
On Sept. 30, 2003, Pennsylvania’s legal limit for DUI was reduced from .10 to .08 blood alcohol content (or BAC). Along with that change came the use of “tiers” for DUI. The tier that a person is charged with can affect his or her sentencing, loss of license and eligibility for an Alternative Rehabilitation Disposition program.
Under the current law, a person cannot drive, operate, or be in "actual physical control" of a motor vehicle after drinking enough alcohol that he or she is incapable of safely operating the vehicle. This is the "general impairment" section of the law. In this same tier is a person who has a BAC of .08 to less than .10 percent within two hours of operating a vehicle.
A person convicted in this tier is subject to six months probation, a $300 fine and attendance at alcohol safety school. If a person has a prior DUI, this tier will result in a mandatory minimum five days in jail and a 12-month license suspension, in addition to other penalties. If the person has two or more prior DUIs, the jail time increases to a mandatory minimum of 10 days.
The second tier, "high rate of alcohol," is for those people who have a BAC of .10 to .159 percent within two hours of operating a vehicle. This tier also includes under-21 drivers caught operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .02 percent or greater and  those charged with DUI where there was an accident resulting in bodily injury, death or property damage.
Finally, this tier includes a person operating a commercial vehicle (with a .04 percent or higher BAC); a school bus or school vehicle (with a .02 percent or greater BAC); or a commercial or school vehicle where the person has enough alcohol to be incapable of safe driving or is under the influence of a controlled substance…..