A new bill may prevent repeat DUI offenders from driving again

Criminal Defense
By Goodwin Como, P.C.

Pennsylvania state lawmakers recently passed a bill that calls for stiffer penalties for those who are convicted of two or more driving under the influence (DUI) offenses. Now families of victims who have lost their lives in drunk driving crashes are championing Deana’s Law. If passed, it would make it even harder for individuals previously convicted on DUI charges to ever behind the wheel of a car again.

The newly proposed bill has been named after a 45-year-old Delaware County woman who lost her life when she was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver.

That motorist who crashed head-on into her vehicle had previously convicted of DUI at least five times before this fatal crash. A judge presiding over those previous cases allowed his sentences to run concurrently. This allowed him to get out of jail much sooner than he otherwise would have had he been sentenced to consecutive terms.

The Pennsylvania state senator sponsoring the bill notes that it doesn’t make sense why someone with five prior DUI convictions would be allowed to drive.

When asked why more drunk driving legislation is needed, the sponsoring senator noted that the most recent bill that was passed left a few matters unaddressed.

He notes that Deana’s Law would call for increased use of technology to prevent motorists from being able to drive drunk. One type of software that’s of interest is the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety. It can make it impossible for a car to start if a motorist is determined to be intoxicated.

If passed, it would also do away with concurrent sentencing and make it harder for repeat offenders to secure a license to drive once again. They’ve even explored the idea of outfitting those who’ve been charged with multiple DUI offenses with scram bracelets. These can monitor the body chemistry of those on probation or past offenders and send an alert to the authorities if they consume alcohol.

There are serious consequences associated with being charged with or convicted for a drunk driving offense. If you’ve been charged with such a crime, then a criminal defense attorney in Uniontown can advise you of your rights in your case. They can also lay out all your options that you may wish to pursue when fighting a DUI charge.