A man in Rural Valley faces serious charges following a traffic stop earlier this month, according to local sources. Pennsylvania police said the man was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. So far, no court date has been announced in this case.
According to the police report, a Pennsylvania State Police trooper was on patrol in the early morning of Nov. 11 when he encountered a vehicle driven by an individual he apparently had reason to believe may have been intoxicated. It is not clear what caused the officer to initiate the traffic stop, but he pulled the vehicle over in Rayburn Township. For reasons that have not yet been explained, the officer determined the man was allegedly intoxicated.
Generally speaking, an officer would conduct a breath test and/or other roadside sobriety test to confirm his suspicions, but no such tests were mentioned in the report. The 30-year-old man driving the car was arrested on site and charged with drunk driving. These charges are being filed through the District Magisterial Court.
Drunk driving charges are serious allegations here in Pennsylvania, as the law looks poorly upon those who operate motor vehicles while intoxicated. However, it is the burden of the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the man was indeed drunk behind the wheel. This usually involves blood or breath tests to determine blood alcohol level — anything above .08 is considered intoxicated in this state for an adult. However, if such a test was not conducted, or if it was conducted incorrectly, the accused man’s defense representation could use that as part of the defense case. In some circumstances, a lack of admissible evidence on the part of the state can lead to the charges being reduced or even dropped.
Source: kittanningpaper.com, “Police Charge Rural Valley Man with DUI“, Nov. 14, 2017