Drunk driving is a very serious offense in Pennsylvania, but the legal penalties increase significantly if a drunk driver causes death or serious injury. The recent arraignment of a Scranton resident accused of driving under the influence of drugs demonstrates just how serious these consequences may become.
The accused was reportedly driving his BMW coupe east on US Route 6 about one mile east of the Wyoming County Fairgrounds, when his vehicle crossed over the center line and collided with a west-bound motorcycle. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The police at the scene stated that they did not observe any skid marks on the road.
The police officer who interviewed the driver of the BMW about 20 minutes after the crash claimed that he appeared to be driving under the influence of drugs. The defendant was reportedly unable to tell police how his car wound up in the west bound lane. The driver also reportedly told police that he took prescription medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), asthma and high blood pressure. The driver also provided blood and urine samples that showed the presence of methamphetamine and amphetamine in his blood. The driver was charged with criminal vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, driving a vehicle at a safe speed, careless driving and reckless driving.
The accused in this case is entitled to be presumed innocent unless he is proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone facing similar charges is entitled to the same presumption of innocence, but a conference with a criminal defense attorney may be necessary.
Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, “Scranton man charged with vehicular homicide,” Robert L. Baker, June 21, 2016