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Pennsylvania state representative on trial for DUI

DUI charges happen frequently in Pennsylvania and they and can happen to anyone. Evidence of that is the ongoing trial of Pennsylvania State Rep. Cherelle Parker, who stands accused of driving while intoxicated and traveling the wrong way on a one-way street in April 2011.

Parker is a 40-year-old Northwest Philadelphia Democrat and is the chairwoman of the delegation of Philadelphia in the state house. The DUI trial was set to begin on Nov. 13 after many delays and appeals.

A municipal judge originally ruled to suppress evidence in the case in November 2011, because he was concerned about the credibility of the two police officers who handled the arrest. The state's evidence showed that Parker's blood alcohol content was 0.16, or twice the legal limit. The evidence also contained details of the night. The officers said they observed that she was glassy-eyed, smelled like alcohol, had speech that was slow and also that she was wobbly when walking, according to their arrest report.

The municipal judge's ruling that the evidence be suppressed was appealed by the state attorney general's office after it was discovered that the representative and the judge were Facebook friends. In January 2012, the municipal judge's ruling was reversed by a common pleas judge. In September, Parker tried to appeal that ruling, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.

Anyone can be charged with DUI and prosecuted, as evidenced by this story. Consequences for drunk driving convictions can be very serious. It is important to know the laws pertaining to drunk driving incidents and to have the best legal tools possible.

Source: Philly.com, "State Rep. Parker will face trial on DUI charge," Mensah M. Dean, Nov. 1, 2012

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