|Posted:||October 26, 2021 10:16 AM|
|From:||Representative Meghan Schroeder|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Determinate Sentences for DUI Suspended Licenses|
|In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation allowing the court to impose a determinate sentence for a violation under the Commonwealth’s Vehicle Code (Title 75) when a summary offense is charged and the maximum sentence of total confinement is 90 days or less.
This legislative correction stems from a Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (Commonwealth vs. Eid) decision where a defendant’s sentence was vacated due to the applicable statute for Driving Under Suspension while one’s license is suspended related to a DUI only specifying a minimum sentence of 90 days and failing to set forth a lawful maximum sentence. The lower court in Eid’s case had imposed a sentence of 90 days to 6 months imprisonment in addition to a two-year probationary term. The offense, however, was a summary and the sentence exceeded the lawful maximum (no more than 90 days). The Court declined to speculate as to the Legislature’s intent regarding a maximum sentence and, therefore the court ruled that the statute was unconstitutionally vague and vacated Eid’s sentence.
This legislation therefore would allow for determinate sentences to be imposed if a person is driving on a DUI suspended license when they are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs (60 days for a first offense and 90 days for a second offense) and if a person is driving on a DUI suspended license and has alcohol or drugs in their system or refuses chemical testing for a DUI (90 days).
Please join me in supporting this legislation to make our roadways safer.
Introduced as HB2106