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Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Laws - Essay Example

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Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Laws

With the passage of Senate Bill 8 and the signature of the governor, Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) 75 Pa. CS [3802] became the new law for Driving under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs in Pennsylvania. The new law made sweeping changes to many aspects of this statute.
Most notably, the limit for conviction for DUI was lowered from .10 to .08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) which brought Pennsylvania in line with the guidelines established by the federal government. Another sweeping reform to the new law is found in its three tier system. For the first time there are variant levels enforcement based on the drivers BAC. These tiers are:
.08 to less than .10; .10 to less than .16; and .16 and above (Madigan et al., 2003, screen 1). The varying tiers have increasing penalties for both repeat and first time offenders. All people arrested now with a BAC of .16 or greater regardless of whether a first offender or a repeat offend will be required to undergo a full drug and alcohol abuse assessment with no exceptions. If they are found to be dependent, in addition to other sanctions imposed, the court can order them to undergo an approved drug and/or alcohol treatment program. Additionally, as BAC level rise and/or the person are a repeat offender, the fines imposed are increased dramatically.
Another change with the new legislation is the requirement for repeat offenders to have an ignition interlock system installed in their vehicle when they are eligible for a return of their license. The cost of installation rests with the offender. This type of system requires the driver to breathe into a tube which is, in effect, a breathalyzer, if alcohol is detected the system will not allow the car ignition to engage. This ignition interlock system is required to be maintained within the vehicle for one year upon receipt of their provisional driving privilege reinstatement. If a defendant is eligible for reinstatement of his driving privileges but does not have the locking system installed his driving suspension then remains in affect for an additional year (the period of time required to have the interlock system) (Madigan et al., 2003, screen 1).
A brief synopsis of the various tiers and penalties is provided. A tier one offense for a first time offender where there was no personal injury or property damage. The penalties are: $300 fine, no license suspension, up to six months probation and attend ...Show more


In September of 2003 Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell signed into law the new Pennsylvania Drunk Driving statute which brought the state into compliance with federal government mandates. The piece of legislation approved by the State Senate Bill 8, which passed with a vote of 47 to one, became law effective immediate upon the Governor's signature…
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Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Laws essay example
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