In 2016, Pennsylvania’s drunk driving laws were updated for the first time in ten years, but lawmakers are coming back to the drawing board to consider making the consequences even more serious for someone convicted of drunk driving.
According to the State Senator Scott Martin, Pennsylvania drunk driving laws should be updated with tougher penalties specifically designed to curb repeat offenses. Any person who more than two DUIs across a ten year period would pay up to $15,000 in fines and spend at least two years in prison. If passed, this law would be a big change from previous minimum jail times. The current minimum jail sentence for a second DUI in ten years in ten days.
The new law would also take situations in which a DUI accident claimed the life of someone else to allow the state to pursue felony homicide charges against the responsible driver. According to advocates, Pennsylvania drunk driving laws are some of the most lenient in the nation, which is why lawmakers have enhanced their efforts to strengthen penalties.
The most recent Pennsylvania legislative session, for example, saw over 20 proposed changes to the laws on the books, but only one of them was passed. This was a requirement for a first-time DUI offender convicted to have an ignition interlock device in order to drive at all.
As these laws and proposed changes suggest, the consequences for being convicted of drunk driving in Pennsylvania are serious. Even if this is the first time you have been accused, it is vital to take action by hiring an experienced DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible to protect yourself. Being convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania has the potential to change the course of your future in big ways, so don’t hesitate to talk to an attorney. Be wary of giving too much information to officers after you have been accused. Anything you share with them could later be used against you, even if the officers make it seem as though you are helping your case by cooperating and answering their questions.
Get the advice of an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Pennsylvania as soon as possible after you have been accused.