August 2010 Archives

August 30, 2010

Big Difference between Delaware County and Chester County ARD Program

As you may already know, in Pennsylvania, the ARD program is a pre-trial diversionary program designed so that first time offenders or low level offenders that finish the program, leave with no criminal record. I think the program is great. I know from experience that a criminal record will haunt a person for the rest of their life. A criminal record will inhibit the person from becoming a productive member of society and finding lawful employment. However, I see certain low level offenders being denied the program due to mainly political agendas. I think this is unjust and unfair.

I will give you an example. I represented a lady in Chester County that was charged with Furnishing Alcohol to Minors. In short, she had a party at her house and bought beer for her 16 year old son and his friends. She made sure that her son and his friends were staying the night and not driving. The party ended up getting out of hand. The boys had girls over and they snuck hard alcohol into the party. One of the girl's parents called police and my client got busted. She had an impeccable record. She was in her 50's, had no prior criminal history, possessed an advanced degree, managed a large company, and even spent weekends volunteering her time for Chester County. I explained all of this to the District Attorney's Office but she was nonetheless denied the ARD program because minors were involved in the crime. DA's are elected officials and play it extra safe with any case involving minors. Obviously, I think this can be a good thing, but not for situations like this. Everyone has a lapse in judgment from time to time and 16 year old kids are going to drink beer regardless of what parents do.

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August 15, 2010

No Magic Way to Sober Up Before Jumping Behind the Wheel in PA

Many people do not understand how alcohol functions in the body once it has been consumed. Often people think that after they have become drunk they are able to effect how quickly they become sober by eating specific foods or drinking highly caffeinated drinks like coffee. The following post provides some information on how alcohol is absorbed by the body and hopefully clarifies how it is removed from the body.

When a person takes a drink of an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol is absorbed into the blood through the mouth (slowly), esophagus (slowly), stomach (rate depending on the type and amount of food present) and small intestines (very rapidly). Ordinarily, alcohol is completely absorbed in 30 to 90 minutes after consumption, with the rate of absorption varying among individuals and within the same individual under different circumstances.

The body starts to eliminate alcohol as soon as it is absorbed. The liver eliminates 90 to 95 percent of the alcohol by oxidation of the alcohol to carbon dioxide and water; the rate of oxidation varies among individuals, and the rate generally is faster in heavy drinkers. Some studies show that heavy drinkers eliminate alcohol about 25 percent faster than do light drinkers. The 5 to 10 percent of consumed alcohol that is not oxidized by the liver is eliminated about equally by the kidneys into the urine and by the lungs as exhaled breath.

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