Pennsylvania State Police detained a man after they said he pretended to be trooper and was stopping vehicles to check for drunken drivers. The incident occurred in Somerset.

According to the report, at approximately 4 a.m., the 20-year-old man created a sobriety checkpoint on Route 601, diagonally parking his vehicle across the road and using a flashing blue light bar and safety flares to make motorists think he was a trooper. When law enforcement officials appeared at the scene, they alleged that the man was in the process of requesting identification from a female motorist. However, when he saw the police, he reportedly passed his weapon, a BB pistol, to a passenger in the vehicle. The motorist later told police that the man called himself a trooper from the division of narcotics and alcohol. The man was charged with impersonating a public servant, drunken driving and possessing instruments of crime.

Under Pennsylvania’s strict DUI laws, motorists who are charged with drunk driving may be penalized with jail time, probation, heavy fines and a suspension of their driver’s license. When other crimes are involved, the penalties may be even more severe. A DUI conviction can also have a negative impact on a defendant’s record, which may deter future employers from hiring the person and lead to increased auto insurance premiums.

Therefore, those facing such charges may wish to contact an attorney who could provide a strong defense that might result in the defendant’s charges being lowered or completely dismissed. For instance, the attorney could question the validity of toxicology tests, for an improperly administered test could render the evidence inadmissible. If challenging the charges is not a viable defense strategy, the attorney may decide to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutors in an effort to secure a reduced penalty.

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