Bill Requiring Tougher Penalties for DUI Violations Passes Committee
As originally reported by the Daily Times, Pennsylvania Senate Bill 773, known as Deana’s Law, passed the Transportation Committee and is headed to the full Senate. The bill would require tougher penalties for Pennsylvania drivers that violate the state’s drunk driving laws. Named for Deana Eckman who was killed in a horrific drunk driving accident earlier this year, the bill would require certain offenders to wear SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitors) Continuous Alcohol Monitoring devices. SCRAM CAM devices monitor an offenders alcohol consumption 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The law would also require certain Repeat DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offenders to serve consecutive jail sentences, in lieu of concurrent ones.
David Stowhouer, the drunk driver who hit Eckman, had been convicted of five (5) prior DUIs. Two of his jail sentences (for his 4th and 5th DUIs) ran concurrently meaning he was released in a short amount of time and back on the road.
Senator Tom Killion, representing Pennsylvania’s 9th District, introduced Deana’s Law earlier this year. The Senate Bill number “773” represents Deana’s birth month and year according to an article released by his office. One of the key components of the legislation is making continuous alcohol monitoring for repeat offenders mandatory. In addition, the law would mandate the impoundment of a vehicle on the arrest for a third (3rd) offense DUI and increase jail time for those convicted of a fourth (4th) or subsequent DUI offense.
The bi-partisan legislation could be passed early 2020 before the one year anniversary of Deana’s tragic death.
Read more about the new legislation “Deana’s Law passes committee hurdle, will go to Senate”.