HARRISBURG – A bill to enact stiffer punishments against habitual DUI offenders is on its way to the Governor to be signed into law, according to Senator Scott Martin (R-13).
Senate Bill 961 includes a proposal Martin introduced to increase penalties for repeated DUI crimes and levy harsher sentences against repeat offenders who cause the death of another person.
The bill clarifies that any individual convicted of their third DUI with a BAC of .16 or higher could be found guilty of a felony offense. The same penalty would apply to all individuals convicted of four or more DUI offenses.
The legislation also increases penalties for motorists who cause the death of another person as a result of a DUI, including a potential first-degree felony charge for repeat offenders.
Pennsylvania is one of just four states that does not have a felony charge for habitual DUI offenders.
“Habitual drunk drivers show zero concern for other motorists, and they create a grave danger for everyone they encounter on our roadways,” Martin said. “This legislation sends a strong message that repeat offenders will face serious consequences when they make the selfish and irresponsible decision to drink and drive.”
Martin gave great thanks to Senator John Rafferty for his leadership and strategic partnership to get this long overdue reform to the Governor’s desk.
“This bill never would have reached the Governor’s desk without the strong support and tireless advocacy of Chris & Susan Demko, PA Parents Against Impaired Driving, M.A.D.D, the PA District Attorneys Association and House Judiciary Chairman Ron Marsico” Martin said. “The families who have suffered unimaginable losses, selflessly turned their tragedy into something that will ultimately help save the lives of other Pennsylvanians. I thank them for never giving up on the fight for tougher DUI laws.”
The legislation also includes stiffer punishments for motorists who drive on a suspended or revoked license, including additional jail time for motorists who are found guilty of aggravated assault by vehicle or homicide by vehicle without a valid license while DUI.
CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535