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State aims to toughen DUI penalties

Drivers in Pennsylvania who have been arrested and charged with some type of impaired driving offense know that the state's consequences for these things can be severe. Almost every aspect of a driver's life can be impacted by a drunk driving conviction. Understanding how the law continues to evolve in this area is important for all drivers.

Different efforts are currently underway in the Pennsylvania legislature related to impaired driving penalties. Each has been brought forth by different groups. One such measure, Senate Bill 839, focuses intently on accidents that result in fatalities. Any driver who has been convicted of two or more drunk driving charges within a span of 10 years can be impacted by this law. With such a record, the involvement while impaired in a crash that takes the life of another person will result in harsher charges. Drivers in these cases can be accused of being reckless or negligent in addition to other charges.

Another bill seeks to require all people convicted of drunk driving offenses to use ignition interlock devices. This is the same approach used in nearby New York and Delaware. Finally, Senate Bill 278 would mandate the use of an IID for a full year by any driver convicted of even just one offense with a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.09 percent.

Drivers who face a DUI charge may find it helpful to talk with an experienced lawyer to understand their options for a fair defense.

Source: The Daily Local, “PA elected officials propose legislation on repeat DUI offenders,” Ginger Dunbar, March 24, 2015

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