Pennsylvania Police Expand Summer DUI Enforcement
With Memorial Day come and gone, summer has unofficially begun in Pennsylvania – and so has drunk driving season. With about a third of DUI-related deaths occurring during the summer months in Pennsylvania, law enforcement agencies throughout the state are participating in a state-wide summer crackdown on drunk driving.
In an announcement dated May 25, 2012, the Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence Association announced that intensified DUI enforcement efforts will be in effect statewide every weekend throughout the summer, the Gant Daily reported. The initiative, which went into effect during the recent Memorial Day weekend, places increased numbers of law enforcement officers on the state’s roads for patrols and expanded sobriety checkpoints.
State and municipal police are also working with 108 specially trained drug recognition experts to evaluate drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to the Gant Daily, impaired driving charges in Pennsylvania have increased dramatically each year since the Drug Recognition Expert program was established in 2004. Last year alone, state and municipal police made more than 50,000 drunk driving arrests and filed nearly 14,000 drugged driving charges.
Penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania
The penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the case, including the driver’s degree of intoxication, the existence of any prior DUI convictions, and other factors such as causing an injury or refusing to take a BAC test. A driver convicted of drunk driving in Pennsylvania may face penalties including:
- A prison sentence of up to 5 years
- Fines of up to $10,000
- License suspension for up to 18 months
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device upon restoration of driving privileges
- Court-ordered treatment and/or alcohol highway safety school
With the increased efforts by law enforcement to crack down on drunk driving in Pennsylvania this summer, the risks of serious legal and financial consequences for impaired driving are especially high. Anyone arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania should contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer right away for help defending against the charges and minimizing the negative consequences of the arrest.