Penalties for repeat DUI offenses increase under new Pennsylvania law
Pennsylvania is adding more severe consequences for repeat DUI offenders.
Act 59 of 2022 - known as "Deana's Law" - amends the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code by increasing the grading for certain DUI offenses. It requires consecutive sentencing for certain offenders and imposes an 18-month driving privilege suspension for a DUI conviction graded as a second-degree felony.
Under the new law, a person charged with DUI and refuses a breath or chemical test or has a blood alcohol concentration of .16 or higher now commits a third-degree felony for two prior offenses or a second-degree felony for three or more priors.
In Pennsylvania, a third-degree felony carries a maximum prison term of seven years while a second-degree felony is up to 10 years.
Deana's Law also changes sentences for DUI offenders with two or more priors. Their sentence will now be served consecutively with any other sentence they are serving.
Sentences for people with four or more prior DUIs are also enhanced under the new law.
"Driving impaired puts everyone at risk, and repeat offenders disregard the risk they pose every time they get behind the wheel impaired," said Major Robert Krol, director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Patrol. "This law enhances penalties for those individuals, and hopefully they will think twice before reoffending."