X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has struck down provisions of a state statute that require trial courts to oversee the installation of ignition interlock devices in motor vehicles owned by repeat drunken drivers. The justices in Commonwealth v. Mockaitis affirmed a lower court’s decision that the provisions violate the separation of powers doctrine. It said that the 5-0 ruling does not prevent the commonwealth’s executive branch from enforcing the remaining portions of the statute, Act 63 of 2000, on its own, Justice Ronald D. Castille wrote in the court’s opinion. Attorneys who have followed the case noted that in the nearly two years since the court first heard Mockaitis, legislative action has nearly resolved the issues addressed by the justices. Two strikes, and locked According to the opinion, the Mockaitis case stems from drunken driving charges filed against 19-year-old David Mockaitis, who pleaded guilty to his second driving under the influence (DUI) offense in the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas in October 2000. As a repeat offender, Mockaitis was ordered to have ignition interlock devices installed in all of the vehicles he owned. Trial courts have the option to order first-time DUI offenders to have ignition interlocks installed in their vehicles. Judges must impose them on all offenders with two or more DUI convictions after a one-year mandatory suspension of their driving privileges. The law mandates that the trial court notify the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation of the offender’s installation order, and that the department then receive certification of installation from the court before reinstating the offender’s driving privileges. Mockaitis moved to modify his punishment, arguing that Act 63 was unconstitutional. A three-judge panel from the Cumberland County trial court granted him partial post-sentence relief, deeming the interlock provisions of Act 63 unconstitutional on grounds of equal protection and separation of powers. The commonwealth appealed directly to the Supreme Court. The justices in Mockaitis chose to focus on the separation of powers objection to Act 63, reasoning that proper consideration of that issue would pre-empt disposition of the equal protection question.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.