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.