A Crawford County Judge ruled that the Pennsylvania State Police lacked reasonable suspicion when troopers stopped a Meadville motorist suspected of DUI last summer. As a result, none of the evidence obtained from the motorist can be used against the motorist at trial. The ruling means that his BAC results, his statements at the scene, and all of the field sobriety test results cannot be considered by the judge or jury at trial. The District Attorney has 30 days to appeal the decision.
The stop occurred on August 26, 2012 at about midnight when the Meadville motorist was travelling north on Old Plank Road just after making a turn onto Cemetery Road. The Pennsylvania State Police alleged that on one occasion the motorist "abruptly swerved" into the southbound lane causing "one-half" of his vehicle to cross into the oncoming lane, before over-correcting and returning to the northbound lane. No other vehicles were on the roadway. The trooper also testified at the suppression hearing that the motorist then activated his left turn signal for longer than usual before negotiating a left turn onto Cemetery Road.
After a suppression hearing, the Court recently issued a decision holding that the trooper lacked the requisite factual and legal basis to justify the stop. In so doing, the Court granted the suppression motion filed on behalf of the motorist by his Erie DUI and criminal defense lawyer, Tim George.
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