Pennsylvania DUI laws can be tough, requiring prison time even for first time DUI offenders. Perhaps lessening the impact of these harsh laws, and the shock of throwing a drunk driver in the same prison as hardened criminals, the Montgomery County Correctional Facility has developed a new wing for non-violent offenders like Montgomery County DUI arrestees.
The $23.5 million expansion has been called "progressive" and is aimed at relieving overcrowding at the prison as well recidivism that can be caused when non-violent criminals are stuck living with hardened criminals, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The new wing will be primarily occupied by DUI offenders and other non-violent criminals like probation violators, reports the Inquirer. Many of these offenders can be rehabilitated, and the new prison wing will offer classes to help inmates re-enter the outside world.
Generally, Pennsylvania has tough DUI laws. For example, a first DUI offender faces a minimum 72-hour jail term if arrested with a blood alcohol level above 0.16, or twice the legal limit. And someone who has been arrested for three or more DUIs could face a minimum one-year prison term even if the DUI did not lead to accident or injury.
While these laws may be good for discouraging drunk driving, these laws also throw more DUI offenders into jail causing prison overcrowding and possibly creating hardened criminals from non-violent DUI arrestees.
By creating this new wing at Montgomery County Correctional Facility, officials are hoping that Montgomery County DUI arrestees can be rehabilitated while serving their sentence, as opposed to becoming better criminals.
- Find a Philadelphia DUI Attorney (FindLaw)
- New Montgomery County prison expansion prepares for inmates (The Times Herald)
- Pennsylvania DUI Laws (FindLaw)
- What Happens After a DUI Arrest? (FindLaw's Philadelphia DUI Blog)
- Ask A Question about DUI now (FindLaw Answers)