The 2017-2018 Pennsylvania legislative session is rapidly coming to a close, along with the chance to get some bills passed. One such bill would affect the state's DUI laws. If the bill passes, some drivers already convicted of driving under the influence could end up facing felony charges instead of another misdemeanor should they be arrested for another drunk driving offense.
Few people would argue that impaired drivers present a significant danger to everyone on the road, including the driver. For this reason, every state, including Pennsylvania, has laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Every year, the Pennsylvania State Police release reports regarding the DUI arrests made the previous year.
Pennsylvania residents who partake in alcoholic beverages do not always make the best decisions. Some decide to get into their vehicles and drive, which could result in disaster. Even if no one suffers any injuries, the driver could end up arrested on suspicion of DUI. However, not all reckless behavior results from the use of alcohol or drugs.
Whether an individual lives here in Pennsylvania or elsewhere, attempting to flee from police is never advisable. Not only does it lead to criminal charges, it also puts everyone at risk. One of the first things officers look for when chases end is a reason why. In some cases, police suspect the driver involved of DUI.
If you see more cops around the streets than usual and there is no local event going on, they are on the lookout for drunk drivers. Because there have been so many DUI incidents over the years around different times, they now know the best times of the days, weeks and months to put additional resources on the roads of Pennsylvania.
No one anticipates being stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence. Most Pennsylvania drivers know that when they got their driver's licenses they agreed to submit to a breath test when requested by a police officer. When it comes to officers requesting participation in field sobriety tests during a DUI stop, most people believe they are also legally obligated to participate in those tests as well.
Following a criminal conviction and sentencing, options may still be available to overturn the verdict or lessen the consequences. One woman recently had her 4- to 10-year prison sentence for a DUI resulting in a pedestrian's death overturned by a Pennsylvania appeals court. However, her punishment may still remain the same under the ruling of the Superior Court, despite the fact the court ruled her sentence was illegal.
Part of the beauty and frustration of the law is that it is fluid and changes often. State legislatures, including the one here in Pennsylvania, pass new laws or amend others when needed. One of the most recent laws moving through the state's legislature has to do with repeat DUI offenders.
St. Patrick's Day is known for its libations. Green beer, Guiness and other Irish alcoholic beverages make an appearance at numerous establishments across the country on that day, including many here in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, the holiday's festivities may have put one man's future in jeopardy now that he faces DUI charges.
Most Pennsylvania parents spend a great deal of time worrying about their teens, especially once they are able to drive. Adding to those concerns may be the possibility that some of those teens could be drinking and driving. Fortunately, one study indicates that teenagers are involved in fewer DUI arrests and accidents involving alcohol.