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Pennsylvania enacts felony law for repeat drunk driving cases

Repeat DUI drivers will now be facing harsher penalties. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf recently signed a bill into law that those convicted of drunk driving three or four times, depending on their blood alcohol levels, will be facing felonies. Up until now, Pennsylvania did not have a felony law connected to DUI, so those facing these serious charges would do well to have an experienced legal team helping them to fight them.

It is now a felony -- under Act 153 -- for those who have a DUI conviction three times within a 10-year period if the BAC level of the accused is .16 or higher, and for a fourth offense in all other cases. Jail time for repeat offenders has also increased. Those who are convicted of homicide by vehicle while drunk driving will also face increased consequences, specifically, a minimum three-year sentence no matter what DUI convictions the accused had in the past. The minimum now for causing death while drunk driving is seven years in prison.

Individuals who are convicted of a DUI while driving on a suspended license will also be facing harsher penalties. Pennsylvania Parents Against Impaired Driving (PAPAID) members are hoping these updated laws will be a deterrent to those thinking of driving under the influence. Act 153 was passed by the legislature late last year.

Now that the penalties for drunk driving have increased, those who are charged face even more possible life-altering consequences. A Pennsylvania attorney can assist in a client facing these charges to mount the most aggressive fight possible. Once a lawyer goes over the details of a client's case, he or she will do all possible to keep an accused client from facing the severe consequences of the new legislation.

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