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Motorcycle Crash Evidence Suppressed

In York County a motorcyclist was charged with homicide by motor vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol. The evidence of the blood-alcohol level was thrown out because the trooper obtained it illegally.

The defendant had a blood-alcohol level of .118 percent following the crash that killed his 18-yr-old passenger.

The county court ruled that the police lacked probable cause to obtain the blood alcohol evidence without first obtaining a search warrant. The key piece of evidence was clothing found at the scene. One of the rescue workers told the trooper that the clothing smelled of alcohol. The trooper did not see or smell the clothing himself and did not determine whether it was the motorcycle operator or the passenger who had been wearing it.

The Superior Court ruled that because the trooper could not say that the driver of the motorcycle was wearing the clothing his hunch that it was the operator was not sufficient probable cause and the blood-alcohol evidence was suppressed.

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