Recent Changes to PA DUI Laws

DUI Law UpdateThe Pennsylvania DUI laws have recently undergone several revisions intended to close perceived loopholes in the statutes.


  • The first change amended the language that controls the maximum punishment for a second-offense DUI where the driver refuses to submit to chemical testing.  Until the recent amendment, the statute provided a maximum period of incarceration of six (6) months, although the crime was graded as a Misdemeanor of the First Degree, which typically carries a maximum period of incarceration of five (5) years.  The law was changed to bring this Misdemeanor of the First Degree into line with others, and now provides a five (5) year exposure.


  • A major change was also made to the recidivist portion of the law.  Under the previous version, the law looked at the ten (10) years preceding the date of the DUI offense to determine the number of prior DUI convictions for sentencing purposes.  This led to situations in which an offender would incur several DUI arrests in quick succession, but could only be punished as a first time offender if the new arrests occurred before a conviction was rendered.  The new DUI law now looks at the ten (10) years preceding the date of the DUI sentence, rather than the offense, which moves the relevant timeframe to later in the proceeding and will permit the recidivist enhancements to be applied to people who are arrested for multiple DUIs in short time frames.
  • A third amendment fixed a processing error which had failed to recognize that several counties were not properly submitting notices of DUI convictions to PennDOT.  This had resulted in lengthy a backlog of license suspensions which had not been implemented, particularly for drivers in York and Philadelphia counties.

These changes can be confusing and difficult to understand, if you or anyone you know has questions concerning a DUI arrest or prosecution, please call our offices at 610-945-9456.  We guarantee that you will speak with an attorney well versed in the recent changes to the DUI laws.

Posted on December 20, 2014, in Alcohol, Criminal Law, Distracted Driving, DUI, Underage Drinking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Recent Changes to PA DUI Laws.

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