Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers Review Loophole in Pennsylvania DUI Laws
September 20, 2014
There is at least one fatal DUI car accident daily in Pennsylvania. Despite the fact that ten years ago lawmakers attempted to make drunk driving laws more stringent, many loopholes exist, especially for repeat offenders. Statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that nationwide, 25% of convicted DUI violators are repeat offenders. This statistic doubles in Pennsylvania earning the state the reputation of one of the worst states for thwarting DUI multiple offenders.
Currently in Pennsylvania, the law states that a violator who is convicted of a DUI two times will face a 90-day jail sentence. Convictions beyond the first two will add an additional year to the offender’s prison term. Regardless of these tougher penalties, many drivers continue to violate DUI laws without significant consequence. This is due to the fact that loopholes in the law allow many repeat violators to continue to plead to first time offenses. Pennsylvania is among a limited number of states that require an actual DUI conviction before revoking a driver’s license and one of only nine states that does not suspend an individual’s license when they are arrested for drunk driving.
Another tool that Pennsylvania does not employ nearly enough to deter drunk drivers is the use of interlock devices. This type of device physically prevents an individual from starting their car if they are impaired. Research shows this device is effective in reducing the amount of repeat offenses by drunk drivers by 66%. Pennsylvania is among a group of states that does not require the installation of an interlock device after a first DUI conviction.
The problem is even more worrisome in the city of Philadelphia. A drunk driver who drives impaired in the city has a 25% chance of prevailing in court. This compares to the 10% chance outside of the city. Drivers who commit multiple DUI offenses in Philadelphia regularly beat the system. Many factors contribute to this gap in the city’s legal structure including an inundated court system and the fact that many violators simply do not appear in court, thereby avoiding prosecution.
The state is currently holding hearings to address the loopholes that allow drunk drivers with multiple DUI arrests to continue to present themselves as first time violators. Philadelphia accident lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. will continue to monitor Pennsylvania’s laws for drunk driving and report on any amendments that may affect area motorists.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Represent Victims of DUI Accidents
The Philadelphia motor vehicle accident lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. are experienced in representing car accident victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will work to obtain the maximum amount of compensation to which accident victims are entitled. Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. has been representing clients in the Philadelphia and surrounding Pennsylvania regions of Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County and Chester County, as well as in New Jersey for over 15 years. Call us at 215-569-9100 or contact us online to arrange for a free consultation.