Poll: Should a first DUI offense be punishable by mandatory jail time?

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HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– Today, Pennsylvania Parents Against Impaired Driving (PPAID) are continuing their efforts to get lawmakers to toughen DUI penalties.

Along with some area prosecutors ad legislators, the group will ask Senate and House leaders to target “high-risk” offenders. Those offenders include repeat DUI offenders, high-alcohol-level drivers, and drug-impaired drivers.

A number of bills have been drafted to increase the penalties.

For example, a bill to create a felony statute for repeat offenders has been discussed, and Pennsylvania is one of only four states without such a bill.

Another bill discussed would increase penalties who kill or injured individuals in DUI crashes.

Currently, these are the standards of DUI Law in Pennsylvania:

1st Offense 2nd offense 3rd Offense
Minimum Jail No minimum jail time required 5 days jail to 6 months 10 days jail to two years
Fines and Penalties $300 $300 to $2500 $500 to $5000
License Suspension No 12 months 12 months
IID* Required Yes, if refusal to take chemical test Yes, during period of restricted license Yes, during period of restricted license

As you can see, no minimum jail time is required for a person’s first DUI offense in Pennsylvania.

However, a person could serve a minimum of 5 days as a repeat offender who received their second DUI.

Our question is, should a first DUI offense be punishable by mandatory jail time?