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Pennsylvania Senator Gets Probation for DUI

A high-ranking official in the Pennsylvania state senate was accepted into a probation program for first-time offenders after being accused of operating his motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol.

Sen. Pat Browne of Lehigh was officially charged with driving under the influence after a May accident on an off-ramp of Interstate 78 after blood tests showed his blood alcohol content was .09 percent, just over the legal limit of .08 percent. The 51-year-old senator, who is the chair of the Appropriations Committee, was allowed to enter an accelerated rehabilitative disposition program available for first-time offenders. If he successfully completes the program and follows the various conditions in place for offenders, the offense will be expunged and not appear on his criminal record.

Not the first time

Browne has actually been caught drunk driving three times in the last 20 years, but the most recent arrest was 16 years ago — which meant he still qualified for the first-time offender program. This is due to changes to state law first enacted in 2004, under which any arrests for drunk driving that occur 10 years or more after the most recent offense are to be considered “first” offenses.

Browne apologized to the judge for the incident, saying he was determined to get help for a drinking problem he has been battling. He told the news media he would be extremely proactive in his efforts to recover.

If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, there are a number of ways that you can reduce or eliminate the charges against you. To learn more about your option, speak with skilled Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyer David R. Eshelman.

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