Across the nation, drunk driving laws have become stricter. A behavior that was once considered "normal," can now send offenders to jail for many years with multiple convictions. Some motorists, who may thought it unremarkable to have "one for the road," would now be appalled at the prospect of having a drink and then immediately getting behind the wheel.
But according to a recent news report, in Pennsylvania, there are some drivers who still engage in such conduct. And they get away with it. One man described was arrested five time on one year for drunk driving, and each arrest was for a blood alcohol content (BAC) of greater than 0.16, twice the legal limit.
Other drivers in Pennsylvania have not been so lucky. One man was killed in a fatal accident when a woman, drunk and on drugs, ran into his vehicle head on. She had been arrested 15 days earlier, but her license had not yet been revoked.
From this news story, it is obvious that there are glaring loopholes in DUI prosecutions. For one, there is a court ruling that requires for a DUI arrest to count as a second offense, there has to be a conviction on the first arrest.
Given the crowded court dockets, it is inevitable that a person can remain on the road for weeks or months before they are prosecuted.
For the repeat offenders, it also points to the need for better, more effective treatment programs. The citizens of Pennsylvania are not served by the sending drunk drivers to jail, only to release them to drive drunk again and place more lives at risk.
Philly.com, "Despite tougher Pa. DUI laws, many repeat offenders stay on the road," Mark Fazlollah, Dylan Purcell, and Craig R. Mccoy, Inquirer staff writers