Pa. Supreme Ct. strikes down part of anti-DUI statute

(10/27/2003) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Oct. 16 ruled that provisions of the state’s anti-DUI statute requiring trial courts to oversee the installation of ignition interlock devices on repeat drunk-driving offenders are unconstitutional and the responsibility of regulating the interlock installations "should rest squarely on the shoulders of PennDOT." In Commonwealth v. Mockaitis, the Court affirmed a lower court’s decision that the provisions of Act 63 of 2000 which delegate to the courts the executive responsibility of regulating whether and when repeat DUI offenders are entitled to conditional restoration of their operating privileges are unconstitutional. The Court also ruled that the remaining provision of Act 63 “still authorize the Department of Transportation to impose an ignition interlock restriction upon serial DUI offenders who seek restoration of their operating privileges at the expiration of the one-year mandatory suspension of their licenses, and the Commonwealth has available to it available and ample means of enforcing that provision.”

A copy of the opinion is available on the Supreme Court’s web site.