Deana’s Law Moves to Pennsylvania House

Bill Requiring Stricter Measures for Repeat Drunk Driving Offenders Passes House Committee

Deana’s Law, a bill requiring tougher action for repeat drunk driving offenders in the State of Pennsylvania has overcome another hurdle on its way to becoming law. On June 10, 2020, the bill passed the Transportation Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The bill was “Laid on the table” for consideration in the House.

According to Daily Local News, Senator Tom Killion sponsored the bill named for Deana Eckman who was killed by a drunk driver in a head-on collision. The man who killed Deana was convicted of his sixth drunk driving offense. He is serving 25 to 50 years in life after pleading guilty to “third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence,” according to the article.

The bill is aimed at repeat drunk driving offenders with high blood alcohol levels. If passed, the law would increase jail time, require consecutive sentences, and require continuous alcohol monitoring or remote breath testing. The bill also provides for the required installation of an ignition interlock device to obtain a restricted license.

Numerous studies have shown that one of the most effective ways to reduce drunk driving recidivism is through continuous alcohol monitoring with swift sanctions for non-compliance. Deana’s law would help Pennsylvania establish a 24/7 Sobriety Program, which has had success across the country.

With bipartisan support, the bill passed the Senate, before being referred to the House Transportation Committee. The next hurdle is a vote in the House before being put forward to be signed into law.