Philadelphia Attorney Randall Flager Comments on Lenient DUI Laws in Pennsylvania
Commenting on a recent WalletHub study ranking Pennsylvania as one of the most lenient states on drunk drivers, Philadelphia car accident attorney Randall Flager of Flager & Associates, PC said today that such leniency may lead to more drunk drivers on area roadways and increase the risk of serious injuries and fatalities.
“Any driver who gets behind-the-wheel after drinking too much alcohol immediately turns the vehicle into a weapon,” Flager said. “The dangers of drunk driving are well-documented. But while laws exist to discourage drivers from doing so, this recent study indicates that Pennsylvania lawmakers are well behind other states in developing further legislation to punish convicted DUI drivers and show all Pennsylvania drivers that drinking and driving is a dangerous practice that will not be tolerated throughout the state.”
An ABC article recently spotlighted the study, which weighed Pennsylvania drunk driving penalties against those of other states (“Analysis: Pa. DUI laws among most lenient in US,” June 16). The article revealed Pennsylvania to have no minimum jail time for a driver’s first offense and five days of jail time for a second offense.
According to the article, WalletHub also revealed that third-time offenders are charged with second- or first-degree misdemeanors depending on their blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Furthermore, ABC reports that the study found that Pennsylvania does not have an administrative license suspension law, allowing authorities to confiscate a license before a driver’s conviction.
Flager said that Pennsylvania lawmakers should consider taking cues from other states when looking for ways to combat drunk driving, including alcohol abuse and assessment, toughening license suspension law, and requiring offenders to install “ignition interlock devices” in vehicles to monitor blood alcohol content after a DUI driver receives his or her license post-conviction.
“There is no denying that drunk driving is a public safety concern in Philadelphia and throughout Bucks County. But drivers continue to do so every day,” said Flager. “The key to preventing alcohol-related crashes not only requires toughening our standards on convicted drunk drivers, but also discouraging other drivers from doing so. Drivers need to know that drunk driving prevention is taken seriously in our state and a traffic stop will result in more than a slap on the wrist.”