Erie Texting While Driving DUI Case Dismissed

On August 14, 2013, the Court ruled that police lacked sufficient evidence to stop a motorist who was holding an illuminated cell phone for two or three seconds while driving after midnight through the Borough of Albion in Erie County, Pennsylvania.

The police stopped the motorist, who exhibited no other signs of poor driving, under the belief that he violated 75 P.S. §3316(a), which is commonly known as the “No Texting While Driving” statute in Pennsylvania. The police alleged that the motorist “could have” been texting and the manner in which the motorist held the cell phone may have blocked his vision of the roadway. The suppression court disagreed and suppressed all evidence obtained after the motor vehicle stop, which included observations of intoxication, failed field sobriety tests, and blood alcohol content (BAC) results. The Commonwealth later withdrew all charges, including DUI charges, against the motorist.

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