Amish Buggy Driver Arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania

By Garth O'Brien | December 10, 2009 
Filed Under DUI

pennslyvania-duiEast Lampeter Township – December 6, 2009. The local police department responded to a buggy disturbance Sunday night in East Lampeter Township. Apparently, Elmer Stoltzfoos Fisher had a few too many drinks before boarding his horse and buggy. Fisher was observed navigating his cart slowly and veering over the center lane divider. When the police approached the out of control cart they observed Fisher sleeping with the horse reins in hand.

During the DUI investigation it was determined Fisher smelled of alcohol, had the usual bloodshot eyes and demonstrated others signs of impairment. Fisher was arrested for DUI and processed. He provided a breath sample of 0.18 which is well double the Pennsylvania legal limit of 0.08.

I am unfamiliar with the laws of Pennslyvania but in Washington State you must be operating a motor vehicle to be charged with DUI.

DUI Blog Comments

4 Responses to “Amish Buggy Driver Arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania”

  1. Harrisburg DUI Lawyer on December 10th, 2009 6:01 pm

    As funny and as quaint as this story may seem, it involves a real life human being who probably does not have access to the internet to learn that this type of arrest is in fact illegal and improper under prevailing Pennsylvania case law. The law is settled and has been so since 2004 by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Noel that arresting a horse bound rider pursuant to 75 PS 3103 and subjecting him or her to the provisions of the Vehicle Code and specifically DUI is impermissible as the authorizing statute (law) (75 PS 3103) was found to be unconsititutionally vague.

    _________________
    -Justin J. McShane, Esquire, Harrisburg DUI Lawyer

  2. Garth O'Brien on December 11th, 2009 7:33 am

    I knew that did not seem right. However, I thought maybe it was such an issue given the large Amish population in Pennsylvania that maybe they carved out an exception. Too bad the prosecutor in East Lampeter Township has not read that case you quoted.

  3. Dmitri Z on December 15th, 2009 5:34 am

    Although most cases state motorized vehicles, it is very possible and within the law to receive a DUI while even on a bicycle. This does seem unfair, but from a broad perspective, anything you are driving or riding while intoxicated, can prove to be harmful towards society, therefore they try to prevent it.

  4. Garth O'Brien on December 15th, 2009 8:57 am

    Dimitri,

    In Washington State you cannot be arrested, charged or convicted for DUI while on a non-motorized bicycle. I am pretty certain that is true for the rest of the states as well.