The DUI/Homicide by Motor Vehicle Unit was established in 1990 for the purpose of specializing in the investigation and prosecution of DUI and vehicular crashes involving serious bodily injury and/or death through the use of specially trained prosecutors familiar with the particular aspects of these highly technical crimes.
The DUI/Homicide by Motor Vehicle Unit is overseen by a Deputy District Attorney and is comprised of two Assistant District Attorneys, an Administrative Assistant, and a DUI Processing Center Coordinator. The DUI Unit is responsible for prosecuting approximately 650 DUI cases each year, many of which involve serious bodily injury and death. We focus our everyday tasks and strategies on accomplishing five critical goals: (1) to protect our communities and citizens, (2) to fiercely represent the victims of vehicular crimes, (3) to ensure that offenders are held accountable, (4) to reduce recidivism through treatment and rehabilitation, and (5) to employ pre-emptive proactive enforcement to raise awareness of the dangers of drunk and drugged driving.
The DUI Unit accomplishes these goals by taking a hands on/team approach in the prosecution of these crimes by assisting officers in their investigations and in case preparation. The attorneys in the DUI Unit work with all local municipal police departments within Lackawanna County as well as Pennsylvania State Police in reconstructing fatal crash scenes. The attorneys in the DUI Unit are on call 24/7 and often respond to the scenes of serious crashes to work with officers in their investigation and to ensure the credibility and integrity of these very serious cases.
The DUI Unit includes a DUI Processing Center located in the Lackawanna County Courthouse which is open throughout the week and on weekends to assist local police departments with processing DUI offenders. The Center is a critical resource that provides for uniform processing of offenders, and provides an opportunity for local officers to quickly return to their primary patrol duties.
The DUI Unit coordinates and oversees Sobriety Checkpoints and Roving Patrols which enjoy nearly 100% participation of our local municipalities. The purpose of Sobriety Checkpoints is to deter the community from drinking and driving and to increase the public’s awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. Roving Patrols are increased patrols conducted throughout Lackawanna County for the purpose of detecting impaired drivers and enforcing the vehicle code. Each of these tools have been critical in furthering goals of the DUI Unit and have led to numerous arrests, successful prosecutions and, most importantly, have saved lives.
The District Attorney’s Office in conjunction with the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas developed and implemented a DUI Court. The goal of DUI Court is to incorporate intensive treatment and accountability into the sentence that a repeat DUI offender receives to address the underlying issue for most repeat offenders, addiction. DUI Court is designed to attack the offender’s addiction to alcohol, to improve the offender’s lifestyle, and to prevent the offender from committing further crimes. The Lackawanna County DUI Court has seen many successes emerge from the program and has served as a model nationwide to other states seeking to implement similar programs.
In the tradition of the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office, the DUI/Homicide by Motor Vehicle Unit will continue to seek innovative and creative ways to address the issues of impaired driving in a manner that makes our community safer for everyone.
For more information contact:
Deputy District Attorney Brian Gallagher
Phone: (570) 963-6717