Mifflin County DUI – Unconstitutional Detention on Second DUI in Same Night
Judge Granted Suppression of All Evidence
The Mifflin County police conducted a traffic stop of the client’s vehicle after observing a Vehicle Code violation. The vehicle stopped in a store parking lot. After interacting with the client, the Mifflin County police believed that the client had been drinking, and the client was arrested for suspicion of DUI and transported to the local hospital for a blood alcohol concentration test. After submitting to the blood test, the client was driven to his residence by the police and released. The Mifflin County police returned the client’s vehicle keys to him and warned him that he should not attempt to retrieve his vehicle until the following morning. Despite the officer’s advice, the client left his residence and walked to his vehicle. The Mifflin County police officer had contacted a second police unit and requested that said unit conduct surveillance on the client’s vehicle that remained parked in the store lot. The second police officer was not involved in the initial investigation or arrest of the client and thereby did not know what the client looked like. The second police officer watched the client enter the vehicle and drive under the influence again. The second police officer followed the client as the client drove back to his Mifflin County residence. The second officer did not observe the client commit any violations of the law during the drive. After the client arrived at his residence, the second officer activated his overhead lights and conducted a DUI traffic stop of the client. The client was then arrested again for DUI and transported to the Lewistown Hospital for a blood alcohol concentration test.
The client was represented by experienced State College DUI lawyer Jason S. Dunkle. The experienced Centre County DUI defense lawyer filed a pre-trial motion to suppress evidence of the blood alcohol test from the second DUI charge with the Mifflin County Court of Common Pleas. The State College DUI defense lawyer argued that the second police officer did not have sufficient cause to conduct a traffic stop and detain the client. The DUI defense lawyer argued that the second officer did not know that the person entering and driving the vehicle was the client, the officer did not observe any violations of the law to justify the detention, and therefore the detention violated the client’s constitutional rights. The Mifflin County judge agreed with the DUI defense attorney and granted the suppression of all evidence found during the unconstitutional detention. With evidence of intoxication being suppressed, the Mifflin County District Attorney dismissed the charges of DUI.