The crackdown on people convicted of DUIs just became even more intense. On July 9, 2012, a person arrested for driving while intoxicated (DUI), when there is a minor occupant in the car will suffer enhanced DUI penalties on conviction.
Pennsylvania lawmakers created the new drinking-and-driving connected offense to further deter drunk drivers. Act 39, as it is called, makes it a first degree misdemeanor for anyone convicted of DUI who had a minor in the car as a passenger at the time of the arrest. This charge is in addition to the initial DUI charge. The law amends Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes that relate to vehicles.
Penalties for DUI When There Is a Person Under 18 in the Car
The new drunk-driving offense comes with it own set of steep consequences. A first-time conviction of DUI with a minor passenger, which is anyone under the age of 18, will cost at minimum $1000 in fines and a community service sentence of 100 hours. A second DUI conviction with a minor in the car will cost you a minimum of $2500 in fines along with a one to six month prison sentence.
Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr., Senate District 44, introduced the “minor in the car” bill. Prosecutors have long been inclined to seek steep penalties for those arrested for DUI with a child in the car. Now the law backs them up.
Those convicted of a DUI with a minor in the car will not be eligible for the Alternative Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD). ARD is a sentence diversion generally available, for people who are dealing with a first-time DUI conviction.
Talk With an Experienced Pennsylvania DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI with a minor passenger in the car or are facing any other criminal charges, the law office of Laguna Reyes Maloney LLP can aggressively protect your rights and your freedom.