A Rhode Island man may have broken a record by being charged with four separate driving under the influence cases in less than thirty-six hours. The 53-year-old man started the spree after taking a mid-morning Sunday drive, but the drive ended after the man crashed into a SUV that resulted in injuries to two children who were passengers in the SUV. The man was also treated at the hospital, but he was a less-than-exemplary patient after throwing a bottle filled with urine at the staff. The man was charged via summons with drunk driving and released.
The man decided to get an early start the following day and received his second DUI at approximately 7:00 a.m. after crashing into another car. The man's blood alcohol concentration was .220%. The man was charged again with DUI and released. By 11:00 a.m., the man was back on the road. This time he was stopped before he could wreck his car after an officer observed him driving erratically. Regrettably, the man was released yet again, and by 5:00 p.m. was back on the road. The police became involved after the man wrecked his truck into a tree. At that point, the man was arraigned by a judge, and bail was set at $25,000.00 secured, meaning the man would have to post the $25,000.00 amount or retain a bail bondsman to post collateral.
Filing Charges in State College DUI Cases
In most State College drunk driving cases, a person is arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, transported to the hospital to a blood withdrawal, taken to the Centre County Correctional Facility for fingerprinting and a mugshot, and the person is then released. Generally, in a DUI case, charges are not filed right away, and the person does not receive any paperwork whatsoever. The officer normally waits until the results of the blood alcohol test are received, which often takes two to three weeks, and then the officer files the appropriate charges with the court. The court then mails the DUI charges to the person via a summons.
If the officer wanted to, the he or she could file a DUI charge right away and have the person arraigned before a judge. Officers often only file a drunk driving charge right away if the officer fears that the person is a "flight risk," meaning the person will not return to court if the charges are mailed. An officer may also fear that the person poses a danger, in which case the charge could also be filed right away. When charges are filed immediately, the judge that arraigns the person often sets a secured bail, and when the person cannot post the required bail, the person is sent to the county jail. Had the man above been arrested in State College, I suspect that he would have been arraigned after DUI number two to ensure that no additional driving under the influence incidents occurred in the near future.
Severe Mandatory Penalties for Pennsylvania DUI Charges
Like most states, Pennsylvania has passed laws that impose severe mandatory minimum sentences for convictions of driving under the influence. For example, even first-time offenders face mandatory prison sentences, hefty fines, and lengthy license suspensions if convicted. Drunk driving penalties are often more severe if the person has a high blood alcohol level, is involved in an accident in which another person is injured, or if the person had a minor in the car. The penalties for a DUI conviction also increase substantially if the person has had prior DUIs within the past 10 years. An experienced drunk driving lawyer may be able to lessen the penalties associated with a DUI conviction. For more information about Pennsylvania driving under the influence charges, check out this page on my website.