Pennsylvania Enacts Tougher DUI Laws

Recently, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation which calls for harsher penalties for some DUI offenses.

The new laws cover three areas:

Third DUI Offenses

Third DUI offenses within a 10 year period will be graded as a felony if the driver:

  • Refused to submit to a chemical test to determine their blood alcohol level
  • Had a blood alcohol level of .16 or higher
  • Was under the influence of a Schedule II or III controlled substance or had in his system any Schedule I controlled substance
  • Had a minor under the age of 18 as a passenger in the vehicle

Fourth and Subsequent Offenses

If a driver had three or more DUIs in the past 10 years, the will be charged with a felony regardless of the level of DUI charged.

Driving While Suspended

If you are charged driving under suspension, when your license was originally suspended due to a DUI, the penalties for a second or subsequent offense have been increased. For a second offense, there is now a minimum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. For a third or subsequent offense, there is a mandatory 6 months in jail, a $2,500 fine, and this will be graded as a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Homicide by Vehicle

A Homicide by Vehicle charge is currently graded as a felony of the second degree and there is a mandatory minimum 3 year jail sentence for each victim. If the offender has is a prior DUI, the Homicide by vehicle is increased to a felony of the first degree and the conviction will carry an increased mandatory jail sentence of 5 years for each victim. If the offender has 2 or more prior DUI convictions, the homicide by vehicle conviction will carry a mandatory jail sentence of 7 years for each victim.

If you have been charged with an offense that falls under these categories, please call 1-866-MCSHANE now to get a free consultation. At The McShane Firm, we know the law. We have the experience. We want to help you.

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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