Harsher DUI penalties might be coming

The term "drunk driver" conjures up a very strong stereotype for most people in Pennsylvania and that stereotype is anything but a positive one. The fact of the matter is that many highly respected, professional and responsible people can be or are arrested for driving under the influence every year. Driving a vehicle after having a drink or two is so common in today's society that to paint a negative picture in one's mind about DUI defendants is simply wrong.

The stereotype held by so many may well help to fuel support for Senate Bill 961 as it makes its way from the State Senate to the State House of Representatives. According to PA Home Page, tThis bill, if passed, would toughen the penalties for people convicted of drunk driving offenses. One of the types of cases it might influence is any fatal accident in which an alleged drunk driver was responsible. A current minimum incarceration time of three might might increase.

Also set to change if the new bill becomes law is the designation of some repeat DUI offenses as felonies instead of misdemeanors. Currently no DUI offense in Pennsylvania is a felony. The proposal would make any fourth or subsequent DUI a felony. Also a felony would be a third offense when a driver's blood alcohol content exceeded 0.15 percent.

Anyone in Pennsylvania who has been accused of a driving under the influence offense might find it helpful to talk with a lawyer in Pennsylvania to better understand the current laws and any new laws that may be enacted and how these laws may impact the defendant's case or future.

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