Month: April 2017

Evening light on the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

New Bill Would Increase Penalties for Repeat DUIs

A new bill has been introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate that would increase penalties for those who are repeat offenders for driving under the influence. Under the proposed Senate Bill 635, introduced by Senator Scott Martin (R-Lancaster), drivers who are convicted of more than two DUIs within 10 years would be punished by no less than two years in prison.

In addition, there would be a maximum fine of $15,000. In addition, a repeat offender who causes the death of someone else while driving under the influence could be charged with third degree murder instead of vehicular homicide.

This bill was introduced, according to Sen. Scott Martin, because the state’s current laws regarding repeat DUI offenders are too lax and ineffective.

“We have seen far too many tragedies in which innocent citizens have been victimized by the recklessness of others,” Martin said. “We need to make sure repeat offenders face a punishment that matches the dangerous nature of the crime.”Read More

Hand Holding Small Marijuana Leaf with Indoor Cannabis Plants in Background

National Cannabis Awareness Month: DUIs and Weed

April is National Cannabis Awareness Month. Like with other awareness months, this one aims to bring facts about the plant to light. While those who support the use of marijuana for recreational and medicinal use want people to know that the drug is a safe and useful one, those opposed to its recreational use want people to be aware of its potential dangers.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of drivers who admit to driving while stoned has grown by 50 percent since a survey taken in 2007. At that time, the number of drivers who admitted to driving after smoking marijuana was 8.6 percent. That number rose to 12.6 percent in 2014 and is expected to be higher today.

Drivers who tested positive for some type of substance that would impair driving was 22 percent in 2014. Those substances include both legal and illegal drugs and medications.Read More

Closeup on bottle and glass of lager beer on black background

Judge Charged with DUI in Reading

A judge in the Berks County magisterial district was recently arrested for driving under the influence and careless driving. Reading police say they received a call complaining about a car swerving into oncoming traffic while it was driving down Kutztown Road and North Ninth Street, both within city limits. When the police pulled her over, they noticed she was likely intoxicated.

The responding officers said they could smell alcohol on her breath. When they conducted field sobriety tests, they determined she may have been driving under the influence. As such, they arrested the judge and took her to the Penn State St. Joseph Medical Center. There, a blood test revealed her blood alcohol content was .188 percent. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is 0.08 percent.

Before the DUI

Before the judge got behind the wheel, she was allegedly drinking at a bar in Muhlenberg Township. At one point in the night, she placed her head on the bar to rest.Read More

young female driver being subject to test for alcohol content with use of breathalyzer

What Causes False Positives for Breathalyzers?

Many people have heard of the strange things people try to do to defeat breathalyzer tests. From putting a penny in your mouth to chewing gum, very few things, if any, will show that you are sober when you aren’t. There are things, however, that can cause a false positive, and people need to be aware of them.

1. Mouthwash

Mouthwash has been said to throw off the reading of a breathalyzer test. Unfortunately, swigging mouthwash can skew the results in favor of the arresting officer. Mouthwash has a high alcohol content and can cause you to blow in such a way that you appear intoxicated, or more intoxicated than you are.

2. Vaping

Thousands of people have turned to vaping as an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. If you are hooked on an electronic cigarette, you may want to keep it tucked in your pocket if you have been out drinking.Read More