Centre County DUI Case - Suppression of Admission to Drinking – Miranda Violation

Judge issued an order that suppressed the client's admission

The client was traveling at a very high rate of speed in his high performance car when he lost control going through sharp turns and wrecked his vehicle. A state trooper observed the client's vehicle traveling at what he believed was in excess of 100 miles per hour, and the trooper commenced pursuit. The trooper found the wrecked vehicle, forcibly removed the client from the wrecked car, handcuffed the client, and then walked the client to a waiting ambulance. While the client was receiving treatment for his minor injuries in the ambulance, the trooper stood at the door and prevented the client from exiting the ambulance. The trooper then questioned the client as to whether the client had been drinking. The client admitted that he had been drinking, so the Pennsylvania State Trooper arrested the client and transported him to the hospital for a blood alcohol concentration test. The test evidenced a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, so the trooper filed DUI charges.

Experienced Penn State DUI defense lawyer Jason S. Dunkle filed a pre-trial motion to suppress the client's admission to drinking by arguing that the client had been subjected to a "custodial interrogation" and thereby should have been Mirandized. The DUI defense lawyer argued that the client was in "custody" for Miranda purposes because the trooper's physical presence at the door to the ambulance prevented the client from leaving the ambulance. The Centre County judge agreed with the defense lawyer and issued an order that suppressed the client's admission to having consumed alcohol.