Jun 19

Commonwealth v. P.H.

Commonwealth v. P.H.

Police on routine patrol observed P.H. driving a car with expired registration stickers. As he was speaking to P.H. he noticed a “strong odor” of burnt marijuana, and that she was repeating herself and seemed excessively nervous. Based on those observations, P.H. was arrested for DUI, taken into custody, and had her blood drawn. The blood tests showed that she had marijuana in her system. Prior to trial the defense filed a motion to suppress the results of the blood test. The defense argued that the officers observations did not support a finding of probable cause that P.H. was driving under the influence in Philadelphia. In addition, the defense used the blood test that indicated P.H. only had 21 nanongrams of a marijuana metabolite to refute the officer’s claim that he smelled a strong odor of burn marijuana. The amount of marijuana in P.H.’s system would have been more consistent with her consuming marijuana approximately six hours before the car stop. A judge agreed with the defense and suppressed the results of the blood test.

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