A 22-year-old woman is facing a number of serious charges after she allegedly struck a group of partygoers on Sept. 5, according to local news sources. Pennsylvania police arrested the woman, who has been charged with drunk driving and aggravated assault. So far no court date has been announced in connection with this case.
Police say the woman was operating her vehicle in Point Breeze when she reportedly ran into a crowd of people who were holding a Labor Day block party. The woman maintains she was attempting to navigate around the crowd when her brakes failed. Regardless, she struck some eight people before her vehicle came to rest. Thankfully no one was seriously injured, but several people were taken to local hospitals with complaints of pain, bumps and bruises.
It is unclear how police came to the conclusion the woman was drunk at the time of the accident, since no mention was made of roadside sobriety or blood tests in the report. However, she was nevertheless arrested on the scene. She now faces nine charges of aggravated assault as well as the DUI and associated charges. It is unknown whether the woman secured criminal defense counsel.
The outcome of this drunk driving case, as with many similar cases, will depend upon the evidence. Pennsylvania prosecutors will attempt to prove the woman was intoxicated, possibly by offering breath or blood-test evidence to support their claim. However, defense counsel will surely want to investigate the possibility the woman's brakes really did fail. Mechanical failure of a vehicle could play a significant role in determining whether the woman was materially responsible for the accident and associated injuries. While a possible brake failure may not be enough to avoid a DUI conviction if other evidence exists, it may go a long ways toward mitigating the circumstances.
Source: philly.com, "Philly police charge woman, 22, in block party crash", Laura McCrystal, Sept. 4, 2017