Driving under the influence of alcohol has serious consequences in Pennsylvania, especially for chronic offenders. The state recently toughened penalties for motorists with multiple DUI convictions.
The change came about in an attempt to keep dangerous drivers off the road.
Legislation increases penalties for some
A report in U.S. News & World Report spelled out details of Pennsylvania legislation passed to increase penalties for drivers with at least three DUI convictions. Lawmakers haggled over provisions in the law for some time but eventually passed the measure. The governor soon signed the law and it will take effect at the end of 2022.
The new law lengthens sentences by requiring repeat offenders to complete consecutive sentences for separate counts. Before, offenders could serve time for separate convictions concurrently, thus reducing overall jail time. The law also imposed harsher sentences for individuals convicted of a fourth DUI when combined with drugs or a high blood alcohol content.
The drive for the law gained momentum after a driver under the influence killed a woman in 2019. The courts released the driver after serving a concurrent sentence for his fifth DUI conviction.
DUI convictions carry consequences for all
According to information from American Addiction Centers, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can lead to a cascade of consequences. In addition to jail time, individuals convicted of a DUI can expect a variety of financial pain from paying court fees to increased auto insurance rates. They could also incur a license suspension, making it difficult to meet work obligations.
Mitigating the impacts of a DUI conviction can help individuals recover and move on. Not all DUI charges have merit.