New DUI Law to Take Effect Aug. 25
A new law set to go into effect Aug. 25 will change the way first-time DUI offenders are punished in Pennsylvania. The new law will require most first-time offenders with a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.10 percent to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.
Under the new law, most first-time offenders would be eligible to drive with the ignition interlock immediately. Otherwise, they would have to have their driver’s license suspended for a year before installing the interlock device for 12 months.
Those who are eligible can petition PennDOT for a new Ignition Interlock Limited License, allowing them to install the device for one year and continue to drive.
The law will also apply to drivers who refuse to submit to chemical testing. They will be eligible for early interlock after six months.
According to statistics compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, nearly 2 million drunk-driving attempts have been stopped with ignition interlock devices, including more than 78,000 instances in Pennsylvania between 2003 and 2015.
New Immunization Requirements for PA Schools This Fall
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has revised Pennsylvania’s school immunization requirements for the 2017-18 school year.
The new rules require parents to get their children fully immunized prior to the fifth day of school or the students will be excluded from school. Previously, parents had eight months to meet school immunization requirements.
If a student is in the middle of an immunization series and it is too soon for the next dose, the parents must provide the school nurse with a written plan, signed by their health care provider, within the first five days of school.
For more information, contact your health care provider, visit www.health.pa.gov or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.
PennDOT Offers Winter Maintenance Jobs
Individuals seeking seasonal employment are encouraged to apply for a variety of winter maintenance positions now open through PennDOT.
The program runs from September through April, and includes positions for transportation equipment operators, diesel mechanics, radio dispatchers, stock clerks, welders and tradesman helpers.
Individuals in these positions supplement the permanent workforce and have the potential to lead to permanent full-time employment. Additional details about the positions, along with the job application, are available at www.employment.pa.gov. Click on “OPEN JOBS” and then go to “PennDOT Winter Maintenance Program.”
The deadline to apply is Friday, Aug. 11.
Attention Medicare Recipients
From April 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2019, Medicare will mail out new Medicare cards that no longer have Social Security numbers on them. The new card identification number will be a random mix of numbers and letters as a way to protect a cardholder’s identity.
Some things to remember:
o A cardholder’s benefits will stay the same, with no changes to coverage. The only difference is the cardholder’s ID number.
o A cardholder doesn’t have to take any action and does not need to confirm personal information. The card will automatically come in the mail and is ready to use right away.
o The new card does not cost anything, and fees do not apply.
Medicare representatives don’t call you or come to your house. Hang up on anyone who calls you and says there is a fee for the card or that they need to confirm your identity.
For more information, call the PA-Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-800-356-3606. Help is free and confidential.
Outreach and Satellite Hours Offered Next Week
A member of my staff will be available at the following locations:
• Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Hunlock Township Building, located at 33 Village Drive, Hunlock Creek, from 10 a.m. to noon.
• Thursday, Aug. 10, at the Factoryville Borough Building, located at 161 College Ave. in Factoryville, from 10 a.m. to noon.
The Mobile Vet Center will be in the Ace Hardware-Brady and Cavany Store parking lot in Eaton Township on Monday, Aug. 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some of the services available for veterans and their dependents include individual, group, family and bereavement counseling; medical referrals; assistance in applying for Veterans Affairs benefits; employment counseling; guidance and referrals; and alcohol and drug assessments.
Around Our Community
It was my pleasure to attend a surprise 80th birthday celebration for Harold Webb at the Lackawanna State Park on Saturday, July 29. Pictured with me are Harold and his brother, Bob.