Pa. Senate Passes Bill to Toughen Penalties for Repeat DUIs

Tony Romeo
April 18, 2018 - 4:55 pm
Pennsylvania Capitol

The Pennsylvania Senate has passed a bill that would, for the first time, make repeated convictions for DUI a felony offense.

The bill, approved overwhelmingly by the Senate, is sponsored by suburban Philadelphia Republican John Rafferty.

“Pennsylvania is still one of only four states that does not treat repeat DUI as a felony, regardless of the number of prior DUI convictions," Rafferty said.

That would change under Rafferty’s proposal, which establishes as a felony cases involving individuals who are convicted of a third DUI with a blood alcohol level of 0.16 or higher, and those convicted of a fourth DUI.

It also increases the penalties for causing a death while driving under the influence. The minimum sentence would rise from three years to five years for an offender with a prior DUI, and to seven years if there are two or more prior DUIs.

The bill goes next to the House for consideration.