There are an estimated 29 fatalities each day in the U.S. attributed to drunk driving. This translates to roughly one traffic death per hour. The annual estimated financial losses associated with impaired driving now exceed $40 billion. Approximately 16% of vehicle accidents now are the result of a driver operating under the influence of drugs (other than alcohol).
According to Pennsylvania's Uniform Crime Reporting System, Lehigh County had approximately 123 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) among adults and juveniles in 2018. This is a decrease from 148 arrests in 2017. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently compiled a summary of the estimated costs that a motorist convicted of DUI can expect to pay as follows:
- Fines: $300 to $10,000
- Vehicle towing and impound costs: $125 to $225
- Legal expenses: $2,000 to $8,000
- Drug and alcohol assessment: $35 to $100
- Accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD): $100-$1,800
- Auto insurance premium increase: $1,000
Adult Probation Department in Lehigh County
The goal of the Lehigh County Adult Probation & Parole Department is to reduce criminal activity in the community by supervising, treating, and rehabilitating offenders. The Department manages offenders involved in community service, electronic monitoring, drug testing, and collection of fines and restitution for victims.
Alcohol Highway Safety Program
Those charged with DUI in Lehigh County are initially assessed for problems with alcohol and drugs via a Court Reporting Network Evaluation (CRN). Offenders also attend the Alcohol Highway Safe-Driving School. The Interlock Ignition Program involves the installation of an alcohol detection device that requires the driver to submit a breath sample before starting their vehicle.
Modification or Revocation of Orders of Probation (§9771)
Courts may reduce, increase, or terminate an offender's probation when necessary. Serious violations of the conditions may result in revocation of the probation and penalties imposed. In addition to any sanctions for violating the probationary provisions, the court may then reconsider the original sentencing alternative for the offense. Those who violate probation may be jailed when any of the following occurs:
- The defendant is found to have committed another crime
- The conduct of the offender suggests he will re-offend
- A sentence is needed to maintain the authority of the court
If arrested for a probation violation, the defendant will have a violation hearing where the court may impose a jail sentence as follows:
- First Violation: Three days
- Second Violation: Seven days
- Third Violation: Fourteen days
- Fourth Violation: Twenty-one days
Common Probation Violations
DUI offenders are typically tested for use of drugs and alcohol during their probation and a positive test result is a clear violation. Offenders who demonstrate a pattern of failing to attend their required alcohol or drug treatment programs are likely to face sanctions. Those who are found to have committed another crime are also certain to face consequences.
Lawyer Defends Those Accused of Probation Violations
Have you recently violated the terms or conditions of your probation or parole? Courts are often unwilling to tolerate noncompliance and may impose significant penalties that often include incarceration. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has been representing clients for many years in the Lehigh County criminal courts and encourages you to contact the office at (888) 535-3686 for a case evaluation.