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PSU simulation logical segue to state's DUI penalties

Students are used to simulations involving myriad subject matter. Even at the elementary school level, mock programs stressing things like orderly evacuations during emergencies, appropriate responses to bullying behavior and defensive strategies to engage potential adult predators are introduced.

And thus it was likely that PSU students hearing about -- or attending -- a university mock program earlier this week entitled "Reality Check" could quickly glean the essentials when learning that the initiative was linked to a DUI-related accident.

That program stressed a fatal accident involving drinking, with a number of PSU students (actors) involved. One official stated the program's primary goal of reminding students "of the reality and consequences of their decisions related to alcohol consumption."

One clear consequence, which was not overtly addressed in a media account of the mock program, links with the obvious legal downsides for any student at PSU or elsewhere in Pennsylvania who is convicted of a DUI offense.

A detailed online overview of Pennsylvania's drinking-and-driving penalties makes eminently clear this compelling point: Any DUI conviction -- even for a first-time offender -- carries the potential to sting, and in a big way.

Moreover, and given the state's legal scheme of rating DUI offenses on a 3-tier system, second and subsequent convictions are going to do more than sting -- they're going to bite in a material way and, in some instances, bring lifelong adverse consequences that can affect an individual across a broad dimension.

Even an initial encounter with the law can bring jail time, a sizable fine, imposed court costs, mandated attendance in Alcohol Safety School, participation in an alcohol treatment program, a suspended license, hiked insurance premiums, installation of an ignition interlock and many additional exactions.

And, as noted, those penalties ramp up in a big way for subsequent offenders.

The potential -- and actual -- repercussions make it flatly important for any individual arrested in a DUI matter in Pennsylvania to promptly enlist the help of a truly experienced defense attorney with a demonstrated record of advocacy on behalf of state motorists.

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