Legal Question in Criminal Law in Pennsylvania

Underage Drinking/Public Intoxication

I am 20 years old and i was recently citied for public intoxication and underage drinking. I was in my sorority house and a few of my friends called the university EMS. Wheneevr the EMS is called at my school, the police automatically come with them. I was taken to the local hospital because i was throwing up. Yesterday, i went over to the campus police station and i looked at a copy of the citation that they gave me.The citation does not indicate my Blood Alcohol Content, and my friends that were with me tell me that the police never even took my BAC. My first question is whether or not i can even be citied for underage drinking without the BAC. I know that once i got to the hospital, the nurses drew my blood. My second question is whether or not it is legal for the hospital to realease my blood alcohol content to the police for the sake of the citation. I am not sure if they are because it is technically a medical record. That night, i also recieved a citation for public intoxication from the police. When the police came with the EMS, i was not in public. I was laying on the couch in the living room of my house. I do not know how they can cite me for public intoxication when i was not in public at the time.

Asked on 1/23/07, 12:58 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Charles A. Pascal, Jr. Law Office of Charles A. Pascal, Jr.

Re: Underage Drinking/Public Intoxication

You are correct that if you were not in public, you cannot be cited for public drunkenness.

With regard to your other question, there has to be some evidence that you were intoxicated if you were cited for underage drinking. The evidence could be behavior coupled with odor of alcohol, or testimony of others, for example.

The hospital can give your blood alcohol content to police only if police present the hospital with a search warrant which requires them to turn it over.

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Answered on 1/23/07, 8:07 pm

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