An Allentown man who was apparently assaulted by his passenger is facing drunk driving charges, according to local sources. Pennsylvania authorities arrested the 56-year-old man on September 16, after an argument between the man and his 50-year-old passenger apparently erupted into violence. The man now faces a DUI charge, and the passenger faces an assault charge.
Details of the alleged altercation are sketchy, but police believe an argument sparked between the two men while they were driving east along Interstate 78. The altercation culminated into the passenger apparently striking the driver in the face several times. The man pulled over, where passing drivers stopped to render medical aid.
At this time, police responded to the scene. It is unclear how they made the determination that the man was displaying signs of intoxication, as no mention of a roadside sobriety test or Breathalyzer was mentioned in the report. Nevertheless, officers on the scene arrested both men, charging the driver with DUI. The passenger fled the scene but was arrested later that day and charged with assault. It is unclear whether either man is currently in police custody.
The assault charge is secondary in this instance to the more serious DUI charge, which, under Pennsylvania law, could have serious repercussions for the driver if he is found guilty. However, police will have to provide evidence that due process was observed during the arrest process. If prosecutors cannot produce evidence that the man was properly tested for intoxication, it is possible that the entire case might be thrown out.
Source: lehighvalleylive.com, "Allentown man charged with DUI after passenger punches him in the face, police say", Matthew Bultman, Sept. 27, 2014