Deana’s Law Set To Move Through House

Senate Bill 773 May Make it Back to Senate Next Week

According to the Daily Times, after a brief delay, Senate Bill 773, also known as Deana’s Law, is set to make its way back through the House and return to the Senate early next week. The bill includes stricter drunk driving laws for the state of Pennsylvania.

Named for Deana Eckman, a 45-year-old woman, who was tragically killed by a drunk driver. The driver had five (5) previous driving under the influence (DUI) offenses. The goal of Deana’s Law is to increase punishments for repeat DUI offenders. Included in the bill is increasing the jail time for those convicted of multiple drunk driving offenses and requiring a consecutive jail sentence (in lieu of a concurrent one) for someone convicted of a third or subsequent DUI.

In addition, sentencing itself would be increased to five to 10 years on a fourth offense and 10 to 20 years on a fifth offense, according to reporting by the Daily Times. Furthermore, the comprehensive legislation would mandate usage of continuous alcohol monitoring through a SCRAM CAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) device. SCRAM CAM devices test for alcohol consumption every 30 minutes and are worn 24 hours a day by the offender.

The bill has hit a few roadblocks in committees but seems ripe to make it through the House after objectionable “language is removed” from the legislation. It would then move to the Senate for a concurrence vote.

Throughout the country, states have been toughening drunk driving laws in the hopes of reducing recidivism. Driving under the influence kills thousands of people each year. Sadly, every single one of these deaths is preventable. It is the hope of Deana’s Law proponents, that this legislation will end up saving countless lives.