Recently in New DUI Legislation Category

May 10, 2010

Pennsylvania Case Law Update Part II: State Representative Wishes to Overturn Commonwealth v. Haag with New Legislation

Rep. Seth Grove of York County, PA would like to overturn what he characterizes as a "DUI Loophole." He is referring to the new case, Comm. v. Haag that was decided last year by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that shields certain repeat DUI offenders from the recidivist sentencing enhancements of section 3806 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. Comm. v. Haag stands for the proposition that a DUI offender must be convicted of a prior DUI offense, rather than arrested for a prior DUI in order for the recidivist sentencing enhancements to apply.

Rep. Grove introduced a piece of legislation that has been approved by the House Transportation Committee adds language that defines a prior DUI offense as a violation that occurred prior to the sentencing of the subsequent offense. This would in effect hand down lengthier mandatory sentences for DUI drivers that get caught driving under the influence two or more times in a row. The bill needs to be approved by the Pennsylvania House and Senate before it can be sent to Governor Rendell for his signature.

Continue reading "Pennsylvania Case Law Update Part II: State Representative Wishes to Overturn Commonwealth v. Haag with New Legislation" »

May 3, 2010

Pennsylvania Should Follow the Lead of Other States in Ignition Interlock Programs for DUI Convicted Drivers

In 2009 many states passed legislation affecting their ignition interlock programs and reducing hard time license suspension for DUI convicted drivers. States such as California, Illinois and New Mexico passed new legislation making certain first offenders ignition interlock eligible. There are currently 24 states that have new ignition interlock bills pending before their legislatures. In the past decade, ignition interlock systems have advanced, become more accurate and more cost effective. Some systems need recalibration less frequently. In 2009 Iowa approved a law that allows interlock devices to be calibrated every 180 days rather than every 30 to 60 days.

Pennsylvania drivers face severe license suspension penalties for a first or subsequent DUI offense. Many times there are no alternatives to suspension and drivers cannot get to work. In PA, ignition interlock is considered a driver's license restoration requirement rather than a substitute for license suspension. Most first and second time DUI offenders face a one year license suspension and are not eligible for ignition interlock until the mandatory one year license suspension is over. Once the one year license suspension is completed, the offender must go through an additional one year of ignition interlock to restore their operating privileges.

Continue reading "Pennsylvania Should Follow the Lead of Other States in Ignition Interlock Programs for DUI Convicted Drivers" »