At this time of year, residents in Pennsylvania may well have a heightened concern about the risks they and their loved ones face due to drunk drivers on the road. The increase in holiday celebrations does make this an understandable concern, yet the reality is that the danger is always there. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents in Pennsylvania in 2018 increased to 334 from 321 in 2017.
Unfortunately, it seems that some of these deaths are caused by drivers who have had previous drunk driving convictions on their records. One example of a situation like this occurred earlier this year when a man who had previously been convicted of impaired driving on six different occasions struck a husband and wife head on, killing the wife. Not only was the driver drunk at the time, but he was currently on probation for one of his prior offenses, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The driver in this tragic event has now been sentenced to spend as many as 51 years in prison. While that may represent some form of justice, nothing can bring the woman back to her family and friends. This loss is something felt by so many, as explained by Local 21 News. A man who is now the head of Pennsylvania’s Parents Against Drunk Driving lost his teenage daughter to a drunk driver five years ago.
Repeat offenses continue to be a problem, and until last December, were all still classified as misdemeanors. Now, however, a new law makes some repeat drunk driving offenses felonies.