During the past two years, drunken driving arrests in Pennsylvania have increased 50% and alcohol-related traffic deaths have declined 24%. Many observers credit the passage of the new state Driving Under the Influence (DUI) law (Act 289 of 1982), which became effective in January 1983, with changing the public's attitudes regarding the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving. The law provides for a series of changes in the penalties for driving drunk, including a per se law that makes a blood alcohol level of at least 0.10% all that is necessary to establish guilt. Also, the law provides for mandatory penalties including 48 hour jail sentences, fines of $300 to $5,000, Alcohol Highway Safety School attendance, and license suspensions of at least one year for convicted first offenders. Some first offenders not involved in serious accidents may, in lieu of the two-day jail term, attend Alcohol Highway Safety School, receive a minimum one-month license suspension, and serve a probation-type sentence known as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). This report analyzes the preliminary experiences of the Pennsylvania criminal justice system in implementing the new law, examines available data on alcohol-related highway accidents, and highlights the problems of underage DUI and drug use while driving.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

    P.O. Box 1167, Federal Square Station
    Harrisburg, PA  United States  17108-1167
  • Authors:
    • Hoffman, D
  • Publication Date: 1985-7

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 8 p.
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00495624
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-039 512
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1990 12:00AM