I’m on Westmoreland County probation till July.

Q: My husband I go to a local Fireman’s club that we are members of. They have a class C liquor license and serve food. I’ve been a member there for four years. I went to renew my membership and the club escorted me out. They told me I am banned because I’m on county probation. I do not drink. We sit at a table and have some food. They knew I was on probation and never said anything. I know that a kid went to the steward and told on me. Is there anything in the liquor control law statue on private clubs and serving members if they are on probation? I have my probation conditions that state I may not consume alcohol or use any type of drugs (which I do not). Nowhere on my conditions set forth by the county or court say I can’t be in a private membership club.

A: This is not a public place. A private club can set its rules as they wish, if those rules don’t conflict with state or federal law. If their by-laws and club rules do not allow persons on probation to be in the premises, there is not much you can do about it. Your house is private property, and you can tell anyone present to leave if you do not want them in your house. If they do not leave, they are a trespasser. I imagine no private club wants probation officers stopping in to check on defendants.

Q: Can a cop give me a DUI on my own residential property?

Q: Cop pulls up on my land while I was sitting on my ATV, not running, on my residential property. He said he had noise complaint, and took me to jail towed my ATV (busted a wheel lock) and charged me with driving under the influence. He didn’t give me a breathalyzer till 1.5hours later.

A: Being on your own property and not on a public road may be a defense. The vehicle not running may be a defense. He has two hours to have your blood tested to meet a prima facie case. You should hire a lawyer to gather more facts and prepare to plead not guilty at your Preliminary Hearing if he or she thinks you have enough of a defense to challenge the evidence.

Friend arrested for DUI in the driveway

Q: My friend is going through the process of his second DUI. He is not convicted yet. He was sighted again this past Sunday for a possible dui and possession of a controlled substance. What happened was he was drunk at a friend’s house, his phone died so he went to charge it in his truck. This was a private driveway. The cop approached told him to get out of his vehicle (private property) proceeded to search him without consent. Mind you this is the same arresting officer from the second DUI, and he hates my friend.

A: Hire an attorney and fight the case. If the vehicle is still in the driveway, without the engine running and he was not attempting to drive, you may have a defense. These cases are tricky and can turn on the smallest details. However, it sounds like he may have an operability defense, a defense of the vehicle not being on a public street and perhaps even probable cause.