Everyone in Pennsylvania is at risk of being accused of a crime, including the politicians who write the law. An accusation alone has the potential to damage a lawmaker's reputation and chances of re-election. Recently, an established politician was charged with drunk driving on a capital session day.
Allegedly, the 58-year-old lawmaker drove under the influence to travel two miles in downtown Harrisburg to where he was staying. Reportedly, his blood alcohol level registered at twice the legal limit at .16. The lawmaker does not have any drunk driving arrests on his record, and it is unclear how soon after the conclusion of the capital session day he was arrested. He is also accused of making an illegal U-turn, though acknowledge that no collisions occurred.
The lawmaker has served his territory of Pennsylvania for approximately 20 years. He is known for chairing and serving on several committees in the state congress, including the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and the Professional Licensure Committee. Reportedly, he told a news source that he regrets having driven the short distance with alcohol in his system.
A Pennsylvania motorist does not have to be a lawmaker for an accusation of drunk driving to harm his or her reputation. If formal charges result in a conviction, a defendant could be ordered to pay fines, have one's license suspended and possibly spend time in jail. An attorney familiar with the criminal court system can advise the defendant of the best defense strategy based on details of the specific case.
Source: pennlive.com, "Pa. lawmaker charged with DUI after a capitol session", Candy Woodall, July 8, 2017