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Man Drinking at Dinner Arrested for Fatal DUI

Man Drinking at Dinner Arrested for Fatal DUI


Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys know it takes only one poor judgement to affect the rest of your life.

Particularly with DUI offenses, we understand that many first-time offenders are frightened about the future and anxious about what's going to happen next. Many have never been arrested before, let alone faced the possibility of jail time.

It appears such was the case for a Philadelphia man, who is now facing charges of third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence.

Investigators say he'd reportedly had a few drinks at a TGI Friday's restaurant before getting into his vehicle and striking a police officer on a motorcycle, fatally wounding him. The officer was in uniform, but was on his way home.

Friends and family members expressed profound shock, describing the defendant as a "workaholic" who did not have a reputation for being a partier or a criminal.

In fact, the only blemishes on his prior record include a 2006 citation for disobedience to traffic-control device, for which he pleaded guilty. In 2010, he was cited for driving 17 miles per hour over the speed limit, but he was found not guilty after the arresting officer failed to show up for court (an example of why it's often worth it to fight traffic charges rather than simply plead guilty).

In this most recent incident, investigators noted that at least 90 minutes prior to the crash, the defendant was at the restaurant. It's not clear how much he allegedly drank there or whether he was alone. State police reported that the defendant got onto the interstate around 3 a.m. from the exit ramp, apparently disregarding several wrong-way signs.

He reportedly continued driving the wrong way on the highway across two lanes of traffic for several miles before striking the police officer.

Emergency responders indicated that the defendant did appear intoxicated, though they did not request that he submit a breath sample due to his injuries. Instead, a blood sample was taken after he was transported to a nearby hospital.

While these are absolutely serious charges, as a first-time offender, his defense attorney may be able to argue for mercy.