HARRISBURG (AP) — Tougher penalties for repeated DUI offenders will soon become state law following passage by the Pennsylvania Legislature.
The bill that received final votes in both chambers late Wednesday would establish the state’s first felony offense of driving under the influence.
It applies to those with a third conviction of driving with at least twice the legal limit of alcohol in their system and for anyone with fourth DUI convictions.
The legislation also establishes more severe penalties, including longer mandatory jail time, for unintentionally causing the death of another person as a result of a repeat DUI violation.
Officials say there are about 10,000 alcohol-related crashes and 300 fatalities annually in the state, which is considered to have comparatively lenient DUI laws.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf plans to sign the bill.