The goal of DUI laws is to discourage people from driving under the influence in Pennsylvania. However, some people continue to engage in this behavior after receiving a DUI conviction.
New legislation that increases the penalties for people who receive more than one DUI conviction is set to go into effect in November of 2022.
Increased penalties for DUI
The legislation, which lawmakers call “Deana’s Law,” requires anyone who receives a third DUI conviction to serve sentences for separate counts back-to-back, instead of serving those sentences concurrently. Additionally, the law makes receiving a fourth DUI conviction while driving under the influence of drugs or having a blood alcohol content above .16% a more serious offense with a potentially longer sentence.
Current DUI penalties
Under the current law, a person who receives a third or fourth DUI faces a 2nd-degree misdemeanor charge that comes with a 12-month license suspension, 10 days to two years in prison, a fine of $500 to $5,000 and the requirement to install an ignition interlock system for one year. The judge may also order the person to complete a treatment program.
Those penalties increase for blood alcohol levels that exceed .10%. A person who receives a third or fourth DUI while driving under the influence of drugs or with a BAC of .16% or higher faces a 1st-degree misdemeanor charge that comes with an 18-month license suspension, one to five years in prison and a $2,500 to $10,000 fine in addition to the interlock device and treatment requirements.
The increased penalties for a third or fourth DUI conviction make it even more essential that people avoid driving under the influence.