As new measures to counter drunk driving go into effect this Friday, August 25th, AAA is reinforcing its support of the enactment and enforcement of Senate Bill 290, sponsored by Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty. SB 290 was signed into law as Act 33 of 2016, and portions were designated effective in 15 months.
“Drivers who are Driving Under the Influence are a danger not only to themselves and their passengers but to other roadway users including other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Theresa Podguski, Director of Legislative Affairs. “We commend Senator Rafferty and the Legislature for taking an important step for transportation safety.”
SB 290 requires first-time offenders with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) higher than .10 percent to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicles. Previously, an IID was only required for second and subsequent offenders. The new law allows first-time offenders to drive immediately with the IID installed, rather than wait until after serving a driver’s license suspension, currently between 30 days and 1 year, based upon the offender’s BAC percentage.
The new law also applies to drivers who refuse to submit to chemical testing. Currently, a driver who refuses the test would receive between a 1-year and 18-month suspension. With the new law, the first time offender who refuses to take the test will still have their license suspended, but will be eligible for an IID after serving 6 months of that suspension, regardless of the suspension time period.
AAA has supported enactment and enforcement of strong laws to combat drunk driving and drugged driving including the use of IIDs for first-time offenders.
PennDOT reported that in 2016 there were 297 alcohol-related fatalities or 25 percent of all fatalities on Pennsylvania highways. Alcohol-related crashes were nearly 4 times more likely to cause a fatal injury than those not related to alcohol.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 81 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. Past news releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
For More Information, Contact:
Jim Garrity, Public & Community Relations Manager
Desk: 412-365-7274 / Cell: 412-905-9021 / Email: Garrity.James@aaaec.com