Controversial DUI Laws in Pennsylvania


Driving while under the influence is a risky and dangerous act. In Pennsylvania, you could face up to 6 months in jail with a BAC of 0.10 to 0.159, so, it is serious. Pennsylvania penalizes according to BAC so as to curtail you from driving under the influence. However, there are some controversial laws that are in effect or can take effect in Pennsylvania.

21 Law

There is a push for the 21 Law, which would raise the legal drinking age to 21. This is to ensure that alcohol-related accidents are curtailed, for many of them are caused by drunk persons under the age of 21.

It is argued for the law that it would protect the development of youths. Alcohol can negatively affect the brain and body’s development, so to outlaw it until 21 ensures that more minors would have better health. Also, the trauma of being charged with DUI under the age of 21 can be devastating for some. It will affect your reputation and could prevent you from getting work as an adult. Likewise, it is said that the law saves lives, since many alcohol-related accidents involve intoxicated persons under the age of 21, as mentioned previously. It is also a fact that more young people die from alcohol-related causes than any other illegal drugs combined.

Those who argue against it say that as long as you are an adult, which is the age of 18, then you should be able to drink and buy alcohol. Many show maturity at that age and should be able to handle adult decisions at that age.

Interlock Ignition Device

An interlock ignition device prevents your vehicle from starting if your BAC level is 0.02 or 0.04%. It is like a breathalyzer, and it is installed to protect you from getting behind the wheel with any alcohol in your system. Some claim that it is too invasive. However, it can protect lives, especially the one for whom it was put on. In Oklahoma, a second time convictions and up for DUI has to endure an interlock ignition device on his car. Also, any other DUI conviction after that, you have to have an interlock ignition device on your car.

In Pennsylvania, you could have an ignition interlock device put on your car for a first time offense, if your BAC is 0.16 or above.

Penalization in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is different than other states in that it penalizes according to how much your BAC is. Lighter punishments are for BACs from 0.08 to 0.099. Medium punishments are for BACs from 0.10 to 0.159; and heavy punishments are for BACs from 0.16 and above.

Some may argue that the punishments for BACs from 0.08 to 0.099 are too light, for there is no jail time for a first time conviction. However, at any BAC level, you would have to face license suspension for up to 12 months. For BACs of 0.16 and above, you would have to endure an ignition interlock device from the first conviction upward.

Drinking and driving is very dangerous, and Pennsylvania has its set of laws in place to combat this societal problem.

Originally posted 2016-12-11 15:08:43.