July 13th, 2022

Deana’s Law: Enhanced DUI Penalties Signed into Law

On July 11, 2022, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 773, also known as Deana’s Law.  This legislation increases penalties for individuals convicted of multiple DUI offenses.   Currently, a person convicted of a third or subsequent DUI-highest tier offense within 10 years commits a felony of the third degree, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year of incarceration and a maximum of seven years of incarceration.   Highest-tier DUI offenses are those with blood alcohol contents (BACs) of 0.16% or higher, DUI-drug offenses, and those where an individual refuses blood or breath testing pursuant to a valid search warrant.


House Bill 773 does not change the penalty for third DUI-highest tier offenses, but does increase penalties for subsequent offenses.  Now, someone convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI-highest tier offense commits a felony of the second degree, punishable by a mandatory minimum of 1 year of incarceration and a maximum of 10 years of incarceration.  The license suspension for both offenses remains 18 months, with eligibility for an ignition interlock limited license after 9 months.

Deana’s Law also mandates that, where an individual has two or more prior DUI offenses, any subsequent DUI sentence must be consecutive to all other sentences the individual is currently serving.  In other words, an individual being sentenced to a third or subsequent DUI offense (regardless of the tier) must serve his or her sentence consecutively to any other sentence, whether or not it is DUI-related.

With respect to individuals with four or more prior DUI offenses, Deana’s Law directs the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission to develop a sentencing enhancement for offenses where the defendant refused chemical testing pursuant to a valid search warrant.

These changes go into effect in 120 days, or November 8, 2022.

DUI charges are among the most common criminal offenses.  Pennsylvania’s DUI statute, however, is anything but simple.  Trust the experienced attorneys at Gross McGinley, LLP to advocate on your behalf if you are facing DUI charges.

The content found in this resource is for informational reference use only and is not considered legal advice. Laws at all levels of government change frequently and the information found here may be or become outdated. It is recommended to consult your attorney for the most up-to-date information regarding current laws and legal matters.