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Pennsylvania state trooper charged in connection with alleged drunk driving crash

Welcome to our Philadelphia criminal law blog. We plan to make this a resource for readers who are interested in news and general insights on stories concerning criminal law and how it is carried out in Pennsylvania. Be sure to check back often because we are going to update this blog once a week.

The first story we're going to talk about concerns an off-duty Pennsylvania state trooper who is accused of killing a Philadelphia woman in a May 18 drunk driving crash. In a sad and cruel twist of irony, the officer is said to have just left a golf outing that was organized in memory of another drunk-driving victim when he got into the crash.

Authorities believe the trooper was going about 75 mph when he struck the 21-year-old accident victim's car, which had broken down, on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Upper Dublin around 9:45 p.m. Officers who responded to the scene allegedly measured the trooper's blood-alcohol content at 0.188, which is more than double the legal driving limit of 0.08.

The trooper has now been charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and careless driving.

The reason we bring this story up is that it hammers home the truth that people of all stripes get charged with DUI, including people (like a state trooper) whom you could reasonably expect to know better. It doesn't matter whether you are rich or poor, what you do for a living or where you make your home -- everyone makes mistakes once in awhile.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Trooper charged in fatal DUI had just left memorial to a victim," Bonnie L. Cook, June 26, 2012

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