In the Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) prosecution Commonwealth of PA v. S.B., police responded to an auto accident in which a car crashed into a building. Upon the arrival of police, the car was unoccupied, but the vehicle was registered to S.B. who lived approximately one block from the accident scene. Police then went to the house and S.B. answered the door. As S.B. spoke to the police, S.B. admitted to driving the car, smelled of alcohol, and admitted he had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. With no additional information, police then immediately arrested S.B. for DUI.
Driving Under the Influence is an “at the time of driving” offense. Therefore, one of the “elements” which must be proved by the prosecutor in a DUI trial is when a defendant was driving on a highway or trafficway in Pennsylvania. At S.B.’s trial, Attorney Paletta argued 1) that the prosecutor could not prove when Defendant was driving before the accident occurred; and 2) that the evidence was not sufficient for the police to say that Defendant was under the influence of alcohol to the degree that required conviction. The Court agreed with Defense argument and entered a verdict of NOT GUILTY of DUI.