Pennsylvania drivers to face stiffer DUI penalties for repeat offenses

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By Terri Hill | December 26, 2018

Under a new law that just took effect on Sunday Pennsylvania drivers who are convicted of repeat DUI offenses will face tougher penalties.

The new law increases the penalties for repeat DUI offenders and those who cause a fatal accident while driving while intoxicated.

Some third-time DUI offenders and all four-time offenders will face felony charges rather than misdemeanors. Repeat offenders convicted of homicide by DUI will face a longer minimum prison sentence, increased from five to seven years, compared to the current three-year minimum.

Before the new law was enacted all DUI offenses in Pennsylvania had been classified as misdemeanors.

The new law was part of legislation that was passed in October and signed by Gov. Tom Wolf.

Chris Demko of Pennsylvania Parents Against Impaired Driving, whose 18-year-old daughter was killed by a repeat DUI offender in 2014 said, “What we think will happen is that people are going to have another reason not to drive impaired against after the first time.”

While DUI-related accidents in Pennsylvania have been on the decline in recent years, there are still approximately 10,000 alcohol-related crashes and 300 fatalities annually.

Terri Hill can be contacted at terri.hill@grantstreetnews.com

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