DUI offender reform approved by Senate

HARRISBURG – The Senate of Pennsylvania approved a measure to update and make several technical changes to Pennsylvania’s DUI law, according to the measure’s sponsors, Sens. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) and Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-Cambria/Centre/Clearfield).

The measure updates Pennsylvania law to reflect new decisions made by both the U.S. and Pennsylvania Supreme Courts.

“With these two court cases being acknowledged by the legislature, our roads will be safer,” Phillips-Hill said. “Dangerous repeat impaired drivers will face appropriate consequences and other treatment options, like ARD. This will also help our legal system resolve these cases in a timely manner.” 

The bill clarifies the sentencing guidelines for an individual who is convicted of operating a motor vehicle in this Commonwealth with an existing license suspension that resulted from a DUI offense. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court resolved the individual must be sentenced to undergo imprisonment for a period of 60 days for a first violation or a period of 90 days for a second violation. To address a court case heard by the U.S Supreme Court, the bill updates a provision for refusing a breath or chemical test, consistent with Act 30 of 2017.

“Our legislation addresses a loophole that prohibited judges from equitably sentencing offenders,” Langerholc said. “A fair justice system is tantamount to a democracy. This bill furthers that goal.”

Additionally, the measure would modernize how the interlock system is installed and managed.

Senate Bill 453 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.


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