Man in Pennsylvania charged with drunk driving

A man is facing serious charges for his alleged role in a fatal accident that claimed the life of one man and seriously injured his wife on July 30, according to local sources. A 42-year-old man lost his life, and his 41-year-old wife is in critical condition. Pennsylvania police arrested the 32-year-old man and have charged him with drunk driving, as well as vehicular homicide and several other charges. 

According to the accident report, the 42-year-old man was traveling with his wife in the right lane of Route 13 when the accident happened. The 32-year-old man, who is from out of state, was driving behind them in a pickup truck carrying an unidentified passenger. Police believe the man was speeding when he collided with the rear end of the first vehicle, causing it to spin violently off the road and begin flipping, eventually bursting into flames. 

The driver was caught in the blaze and pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. His wife was able to escape the wreck, but she was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition. The driver of the other vehicle, as well as his passenger, were also taken to local hospitals to be treated for injuries described as non-life threatening. It is unclear whether police made their determination of his allegedly intoxicated state at the scene or at the hospital. 

In order for a drunk driving conviction to be won in a case like this, Pennsylvania authorities will have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the man was actually drunk at the time of the crash. Breathalyzer and blood alcohol tests degrade in reliability the longer it takes for them to be administered, and they must be administered in a manner consistent with the driver's rights under the law. If prosecutors cannot prove the man was drunk, or if they obtained evidence in an unconstitutional manner, the charges could be reduced and some may even be dropped. 

Source: delmarvanow.com, "Police: Man dies in fiery crash with drunk driver", Gino Fanelli, Aug. 1, 2016

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