Why the Cost of a DUI in Pa. Is About to Go Up…

Drunk driving laws in Pennsylvania are about to get even more stricter and costlier. Here is how…

There was an article in the Post Gazette the other day saying that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives just approved a measure to further tighten the screws around drunk driving in the state of Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives just voted 193-2 to force the use of ignition interlocks for even first-time offenders whose blood-alcohol is at least .10.
The legal limit now is .08, so that’s not much over the minimum alcohol amount.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has already stated he will sign the bill into law.

What this means is if you are a first time DUI defendant and have a blood alcohol of at least .10, you are going to have to have a special device placed on your car.
That will cost you a couple thousand dollars in itself. Plus the fines and costs associated with the drunk driving.
Pittsburgh wrongful death, medical malpractice, mesh attorney, car accident and criminal defense attorney Bernie Tully says that the device will require you to blow into a machine in order to start the car.

If the machine detects any alcohol on your breath, it will not turn the ignition on.

This is another positive step in the fight on drunk drivers in Pennsylvania.

What this means is that if you have a couple drinks you better be sure that you call a cab to take you home.

It’s interesting the way the drunk driving laws have evolved to deal with the carnage of DUI deaths on the roads in Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh wrongful death, medical malpractice, car accident, slip and fall and criminal defense attorney Bernie Tully remembers practicing law a while ago when it didn’t matter what your reading was or how drunk you were on the highway you were NOT going to go to jail for the offense.
That was about 30 years or so ago.
Then mothers against drunk driving got involved in the process.
I must say it was a positive step in the drunk driving fight.

The next thing that happened was they lowered the DUI blood alcohol level in Pennsylvania from .10 to .08 for legal intoxication

In addition they started to make the penalties for first second and third time offenders more severe.

In Pennsylvania currently if you have two prior DUI convictions within 10 years and you pick up a third offense it is mandatory that you spend one year in jail.

That’s quite a bit different from 30 years ago when I first started practicing law.
I remember one case where the guy had six prior DUIs and he was before one of the hardest judges around.

Even though he was convicted of his seventh DUI the judge refused to make him spend a single day in jail.
He got probation.

Imagine what he would get today with six prior convictions and then getting convicted a seven-time.

What is particularly stunning is that this fellow with the six prior convictions didn’t even make the news.

In other words the newspaper people didn’t even think it was worth an article in the paper.

Because drunk driving was so common and accepted back then.
Not so anymore.
As today’s headline in the Post-Gazette makes very clear the assault on drunk driving auto accident death continues relentlessly.

Thank God for that.

Thanks for reading.
Bernie the Attorney.