A Chambersburg man is facing a serious charge following an alleged incident that apparently took place in the early morning of Sept. 15, according to local police. Pennsylvania authorities arrested the man in St. Thomas Township on suspicion of drunk driving. He has since been officially charged with driving under the influence and is currently awaiting a trial date.
Details of the arrest are sketchy, but apparently the 24-year-old man crashed his vehicle into a utility pole around 4 a.m. It does not appear that anyone else was injured in the crash, and no injuries were reported for the driver either. State troopers arrived on the scene and made the judgment that the man was intoxicated.
There was no mention in the report of what led officers to believe the man was drunk, but they said he had fallen asleep behind the wheel. No mention was made of a Breathalyzer or roadside sobriety test being conducted, so it is difficult to say why police assumed he had been drinking. Conviction on a DUI charge carries a heavy penalty in this state. No further information regarding the case is currently available, and no trial date has yet been announced.
Pennsylvania police will need to provide competent evidence that the man was intoxicated at the time of the accident. An individual is only considered to be drunk driving if he or she registers a blood alcohol level over .08 percent, so if no tests were conducted to confirm this level was exceeded, it may be difficult to convince a jury the man was drunk. The defense will likely wish to scrutinize any evidence in the possession of the prosecution in order to identify and prepare appropriate challenges to admissibility at trial.
Source: heraldmailmedia.com, "Chambersburg man charged with DUI after vehicle strikes pole", Karen Harshman, Sept. 16, 2014