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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 23, 2017 03:12 PM
From: Representative Gerald J. Mullery
To: All House members
Subject: Fair Compensation for All Victims of DUI Crashes
In the near future, I intend to reintroduce legislation that would close a loophole that prevents victims of vehicle crashes involving a driver under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol from receiving full tort coverage if the driver dies as a result of the accident.

Currently, a victim of a DUI accident can receive full tort coverage only if the driver is convicted of DUI or accepts Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). If the driver dies as a result of the crash, the victim does not receive full tort coverage even if blood tests reveal the presence of drugs or alcohol in the driver’s system post-mortem.

My legislation would provide the same benefits to all victims of DUI accidents by amending Title 75 (Vehicles), Section 1705 (Election of Tort Options), of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes by adding sections that enable a victim to recover full benefits if the driver dies as a result of the crash and if the driver’s blood alcohol level was at or above the legal limit of .08% or showed the presence of any Schedule I, II or II controlled substances that were not medically prescribed.
While we work to reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes and deaths, it is vital that we simultaneously protect the victims of these accidents. The Pennsylvania DUI Association’s latest report showed that in 2014 there were 10,550 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 333 fatalities. Of those fatalities, 72 percent were the vehicle drivers. Passengers and pedestrians were far more likely to be injured, rather than killed, in the crash. On average, 20 people are injured in an alcohol-related traffic crash every day in Pennsylvania.

Please join me in supporting legislation to help all victims of DUI accidents by closing this unfair loophole.

Introduced as HB276