Police Officer Lacking Probable Cause for DUI Stop

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, Appellee v. DICK H. McCANDLESS, Appellant

Appellant was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving in excess of speed limits. Appellant sought suppression of the results of a blood alcohol test and various statements that he gave. The trial court granted the suppression on the basis that the officer’s pursuit of appellant from the city into the neighboring municipality was improper under 42Pa. Cons. Stat. § 8953(a) .

The lower court reversed the trial court’s decision. On appeal, the court reversed the lower court and granted the motion to suppress. The court held that the officer’s observation that appellant’s vehicle was traveling faster than other vehicles that had traveled on the same road was not probable cause to believe that an offense was committed within his primary jurisdiction.

The officer was unable to estimate the speed of appellant’s vehicle before it entered the neighboring jurisdiction and, therefore, he did not have probable cause to pursue appellant into that jurisdiction.

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