House Passes Grove Initiative to Close Loophole in State’s DUI Law
10/14/2014
HARRISBURG – The House passed legislation today with language sponsored by Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) that would close a loophole that has allowed some offenders charged with driving under the influence to escape enhanced penalties that come with repeat violations.

Senate Bill 1239, sponsored by Sen. John Rafferty (R-Berks/Chester/Montgomery) which contains language originally introduced by Grove as House Bill 212, would allow prosecutors to charge DUI suspects as repeat offenders if they are re-arrested for additional DUIs before a conviction for the original offense takes place. The bill was introduced after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a motorist who had been arrested twice in the same night for driving while intoxicated could only be charged as having committed a first offense.  

“A repeat DUI offender faces stronger penalties than a first-time offender,” said Grove. “The enhanced penalties are meant to both deter individuals from getting behind the wheel when drinking and to convey how serious we as Pennsylvanians take this deadly crime.  Unfortunately, the court’s ruling has allowed some to skirt around these enhanced penalties to receive a lighter sentence.  This legislation would remedy that.”

In addition, the bill was amended to allow for residents whose conviction on drug offenses led to a driver’s license suspension, years after the offense, to receive a special license allowing them to drive to work.

“The suspension of a driver’s license is the duty of a county’s clerk of court,” Grove added.  “The issue here is the fact that some officials were not informing PennDOT of the suspension in a timely manner.  This makes sure an administrative error doesn’t put someone’s livelihood in jeopardy.”   

Since the bill was amended, it must now go to the Senate for approval.

For more information on Grove’s legislative goals visit www.repgrove.com or www.Facebook.com/RepSethGrove.

Representative Seth Grove
196th  District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Nick Ruffner
717.260.6258
nruffner@pahousegop.com
RepGrove.com / Facebook.com/RepSethGrove
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