Texting Radar?

A Virginia company is developing a radar gun-like system that would allow police to detect whether drivers are sending text messages while the car is in motion.  The article doesn’t mention anything about similar technology coming to Pennsylvania, but don’t be surprised if it does.  Pennsylvania’s cell phone use laws are similar to Virginia’s in that texting is prohibited, but …

More Changes to PA’s DUI penalties?

Per the Philadelphia Inquirer, the state Senate may be proposing changes to Pennsylvania’s DUI laws that would stiffen penalties across the board.  Notably, these changes could include the immediate suspension of a driver’s license if the driver fails a field sobriety test and the imposition of ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders. It looks like the Senate may also try …

Bicycles, DUI, and the Importance of One Word

As reported by The Patriot-News, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued an interesting ruling this week that addresses a question we get more frequently than you might imagine:  can I get arrested for DUI while riding my bike?  The answer:  not only can you be arrested, but you have to submit to chemical testing as well. That’s right, you have …

What Not to Do When Debating Marijuana Legalization

On a local radio show this week, the open phones segment lead to a discussion regarding marijuana policy in Pennsylvania.  One caller provided such a spectacular example of how not to participate in such a debate that I can only hope he was kidding.  My criminal law experience, however, has lead me to the opposite conclusion. When asked whether Pennsylvania …

Ignition Interlock Expansion?

Under an interesting proposal in the state Senate, first time DUI offenders would be given the option of installing an ignition interlock device on their vehicles for six months and keeping their driving privileges, or serving a year-long license suspension.  At present, there is no interlock option, so the suspension is automatic. Of course, interlock devices are not free, so …

The Consequences of Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Recently, conservative columnist George Will wrote about how mandatory minimum sentences contribute to prison population increases and encourage those accused of crimes to forego their constitutional right to a jury trial.  You can read his article by clicking here. Rest assured that this problem exists at the state level as well.  Criminal defendants, especially in drug cases, often have to …

ENRADD Speed Traps

Very recently, a police department in our area has begun using ENRADD speed timing devices to catch heavy-footed motorists.  While ENRADD has been around for a few years, this is the first that we’ve seen it used in or around Lycoming County. ENRADD times vehicles with infrared rays positioned only three feet apart that extend across the roadway.  It requires …