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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 30, 2018 02:06 PM
From: Representative Kate A. Klunk
To: All House members
Subject: Recovery Support for High-Risk DUI offenders
In the near future, I will introduce legislation to further support the recovery needs of DUI offenders who are at risk for further offenses.

Substance use disorders are chronic, relapsing conditions, which have a substantial impact on public health. One way we see this impact is in the rising rates of impaired driving due to the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. This is a growing concern to law enforcement officials, as they find more and more cases dealing with drugged driving in the midst of an ongoing opioid epidemic.

Currently, Pennsylvania’s DUI law requires both first-time and repeat DUI offenders to be assessed for drug and alcohol addiction as a condition of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) or prior to sentencing. However, the assessment process does not currently include consideration of medication when establishing treatment recommendations, despite evidence, which demonstrates the effectiveness of pharmacotherapies in supporting recovery and preventing relapse.

My legislation will ensure that both first-time and repeat DUI offenders are consistently offered the means to enter and sustain recovery. Specifically, defendants being assessed for drug and alcohol addiction following a DUI charge would also be considered for medication-assisted treatment in conjunction with behavioral therapies, if such treatment is deemed clinically appropriate.

By providing an avenue for DUI offenders who are battling addiction to access evidence-based treatment, this legislation will help to reduce the incidence of recidivism among impaired drivers, ultimately leading to safer roadways.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation, which adds another layer of intervention in an ongoing opioid crisis.

Introduced as HB2663