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Trial proceeds against police officer accused of drunk driving

A police officer in Erie who was suspended after a suspected DUI incident is facing the end of her trial, according to local sources. Pennsylvania State Police responded the the crash, which killed a 57-year-old man in February, and they believe the the 47-year-old officer was at fault. She stands accused of drunk driving, and closing arguments in her case were set to begin the morning of June 18. 

According to court files, a surveillance tape from the bar the woman was patronizing the night of the crash was entered into evidence. It allegedly shows the officer, who was off-duty at the time, consuming some 13 drinks of an unknown nature over the span of five hours prior to the crash. The officer, who has since taken the stand, testified that her ex-boyfriend, who was with her at the time, would not have let her drive home if she was drunk.

However, surveillance indicates the boyfriend did indeed hand her keys that may or may not have been for her vehicle. Further evidence gathered at the scene of the accident suggests the woman was traveling at a rate of some 57 miles per hour when her vehicle crossed the center line and crashed into the victim's vehicle. The officer has been suspended with pay since the incident. 

It is unclear from court records whether proper roadside sobriety tests were conducted at the scene of the accident, as much of the testimony appears to rely on surveillance suggesting the woman may have been drinking. It will be up to Pennsylvania prosecutors to prove this was the case if they wish to secure a drunk driving conviction. Her defense representation will doubtlessly wish to review her arrest record to determine what testing was done at the time, if any. 

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Skala Miller, PLLC, Attorneys at Law

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