July 17, 2008 – Comprehensive article on DUI Enforcement in York County, and across Pennsylvania. Interesting points include:
- Police statewide are stepping up DUI enforcement , sobriety checkpoints/roadblocks, and roving patrols
- Greater effort is going into getting convictions, including better police training in arrest procedures, and more resources for court officers to prosecute the cases
- There is no evidence any of these tactics are making the roads safer, or reducing drunk driving
- Proposed tougher drunk driving legislation includes impounding vehicles, and stricter ignition interlock laws
- There are also more innovative ideas for rehabilitation, including increased treatment programs for alcohol addicted repeat offenders, new technology monitoring devices, such as SCRAM alcohol detecting ankle bracelets, and proposed dedicated DUI courts, to better implement these ideas. The theory that has been successful in other states is that the DUI courts promote rigorous alcohol treatment and monitoring, instead of pure punishment.
All in all, it is an interesting article worth the time to read for anyone interested in the state of drunk driving law in Pennsylvania.
March 8, 2008 – Crawford County, PA has started a DUI task force. With a funding grant from PennDOT, local police departments will coordinate on DUI enforcement and deterrent efforts, that include additional DUI patrols and sobriety checkpoints and roadblocks. According to the Crawford county district attorney, one third of the district’s prosecutions are DUI related. [news here].
March 6, 2008 – There is a new DUI court in Lebanon County, PA dedicated to second offense DUI/drunk driving offenders. Instead of mandatory jail time, participants are able to engage in a two year intensive alcohol treatment program. The new court is similar to what some counties (Bucks county) have for a drug court, offering treatment programs instead of harsh sentences for drug possession. See this news article for more details.
December 16, 2007 – An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer talks about how new technology automatic license plate scanners are being employed by Pennsylvania police departments. If you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest, your car can be flagged simply by driving down the street if you pass by a police cruiser equipped with one of these devices. This makes it all the more imperative that you get legal help if you have a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear in court.
July 31, 2007 – An Article on DUI Convictions in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that cites statistics directly from MADD. In the article, MADD claims that there were 1,616 traffic deaths in Pennsylvania in 2005, 636 of which were “alcohol-related traffic deaths”. What is the source of the alcohol statistics? What is the definition of alcohol related? Does that mean that someone may have had one drink? The phrase alcohol related seems to be too closely chosen to be believed. If there is proof that the accidents they cite were caused by drunk drivers, why wouldn’t they say that?