Should State Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, and the Pa. House Transportation Committee have their way, a Pennsylvania driver arrested twice in one night driving under the influence will no longer be charged two first-offenses.
Under current language in the Commonwealth’s Vehicle Code, a defendant is charged with a first offense if no prior convictions occur. That means that multiple DUIs prior to a conviction for any of them will each be charged as a first offense.
Senate Bill 1239 was created to “correct” language in the Vehicle Code that was found to be legally ineffective by a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decision that sided with a Philadelphia-area appellant who argued that he shouldn’t have received a harsher sentence for one DUI-related conviction since he had no prior convictions, despite two DUI arrests that same night.
“This person faced less serious charges because state law says a person must be convicted first before becoming a repeat offender,” Grove wrote in a prepared statement. “This bill corrects that loophole for DUI sentencing, making sure offenders are held accountable for their actions.”
The bill has passed the Transportation Committee and will now face consideration by the Senate.