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Don't Drink and Drive!  It's the LAW!

 

Lesson 5

Part 1

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PENNSYLVANIA VEHICLE CODE 3731 – ACT 64

 

1. IF YOU ARE DRIVING AND ARE STOPPED

 

Provides that any person who drives or is in actual physical control of the movement of a motor vehicle. Section 1547(a).

 

Implied consent to one or more chemical tests of breath, blood or urine to determine alcohol or controlled substance content. Section 1547(a).

 

Pre-Arrest Breath Test (PBT)

 

Police must have a reasonable suspicion of DUI prior to arrest. May require driver to submit to a pre-arrest breath test (PBT) on an approved device to determine if a DUI arrest should be made. Section 1547(k).


Unlawful for driver to consume alcohol or controlled substance while in the act of driving a motor vehicle. PENALTY: a SUMMARY OFFENSE, $25.00 FINE.

 

2. IF YOU ARE DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE AND ARE STOPPED

 

New DUI Law

 

Police or other qualified person may give one or more tests of blood, breath or urine. Refusal results in a 12 month suspension. Section 1547(b)(1)(l)(c)(1)(2).


If probable cause exists to believe there is a violation of Section 3731 (DUI), physician shall take blood sample and submit for testing. Section 3755.

 

3. IF YOU ARE CHARGED WITH DUI

 

New DUI Law

 

Presiding judicial officer (district justice) at the preliminary hearing or preliminary arraignment may not reduce or modify a DUI charge. Section 3731(f).

 

4. IF YOU GO TO TRIAL FOR DUI

 

New DUI Law

 

The Commonwealth need only to prove the defendant drove a vehicle when the amount of alcohol in the blood was .10% or greater. Section 3731(a)(4).


Refusal to take test allowed, but creates no presumptions. Section 1547(e).

 

5. IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR ACCELERATED REHABILITATIVE DISPOSITION (AND) ARE ACCEPTED INTO AN ARD PROGRAM

 

ARD program must be established and used in each judicial district to process eligible DUI first offenders. Section 1552.


District Attorney cannot process a DUI offender on the ARD program if:

 

  1. Defendant had a DUI conviction or completed an ARD program in the past 7 years.
  2. If defendant committed a concurrent offense under Section 1542 (habitual offender).
  3. An accident resulted where any person other than defendant was killed or seriously injured. Section 3731(d).

 

Imposes minimal mandatory conditions if the ARD program is used in DUI cases. Offender must:

 

  1. Pay all costs.
  2. Have license suspended not less than 1 month and not more than 12 months.
  3. Pay restitution (damages).
  4. Pay for court supervision if restitution, treatment or counseling is ordered.
  5. Have court supervision of 6 or 12 months depending on Court Reporting Network (CRN) recommendation. Section 3731(e)(6).

 

The Department of Transportation must maintain ARD records for DUI offense for 7 years. Section 1534(b).

 

6. IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF DUI

 

New DUI Law

 

DUI now a Misdemeanor 2 – (Which means not at a District Justice level anymore.) Maximum penalty of $5,000 and 2 years imprisonment.

Mandatory minimum sentences for DUI offenders – Mandatory minimum fine of not less than $300 and minimum imprisonment as follows:


1st conviction – 48 consecutive hours
2nd conviction within 7 years – 30 days
3rd conviction within 7 years – 90 days
4th conviction within 7 years – 1 year

Section 3731(e)

 

License suspension increased to 1 year for DUI convictions. Section 1532(b)(3).

 

7. IF YOU DRIVE WHILE YOUR LICENSE IS SUSPENDED AS A RESULT OF A DUI DISPOSITION

 

New DUI Law

 

If suspended for a DUI conviction or offense or for refusal to take test – guilty of a summary offense and mandatory fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for not less than 90 days. Section 1543(b).

 

8. IF A FATALITY OCCURS IN AN ACCIDENT WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

 

New DUI Law

 

Conviction of DUI and homicide as a direct result of driving under the influence is a Felony 3 and carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years. Section 3735.

 

9. IF YOU ARE CONVICTED OF DUI IN ANOTHER STATE

 

New DUI Law

 

Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states to exchange records of convictions of DUI. Pennsylvania drivers convicted of DUI in a reciprocal agreement state will have their licenses suspended for 12 months. Section 6146.

 

10. JUVENILE DUI OFFENDERS

 

New DUI Law

 

Juvenile DUI offenders will still be processed in Juvenile Court. The judge may impose such conditions as may be appropriate but the clerk must report a juvenile DUI conviction within 10 days and the Department of Transportation will suspend their licenses for 1 year. Section 6323, 1532(b)(3).

 

 

 

 

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