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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: September 5, 2019 10:29 AM
From: Representative Christopher B. Quinn
To: All House members
Subject: Deana’s Law
In the near future, I will introduce legislation that would further protect our families from repeat DUI offenders.

Individuals that drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs can cause irreparable damage to others each and every time they get behind the wheel. Those that continually commit this crime exponentially increase the chances of tragedy.

This was the case on February 16, 2019, when Deana Eckman, a Delaware County resident, was tragically killed while she and her husband, Chris, were driving home from a family event. On that evening, Deana and Chris were struck by a highly intoxicated driver in a violent crash.

The driver who killed Deana and caused injuries to Chris had previously been convicted of five previous DUI offenses. After this horrific accident and death, this individual was charged with his sixth DUI.

Deana Eckman's death has brought unbearable pain to her husband, parents, siblings, and other family members, and friends that will never truly be healed. Hoping to save lives and spare other families the heartbreak they are suffering, her family is determined to change laws that have permitted a revolving door system for the most serious DUI offenders in Pennsylvania. I agree with their mission and that is why this bill is so important.

Specifically, my legislation will substantially increase penalties for those who have multiple DUI convictions and target offenders who repeatedly drive drunk with high Blood Alcohol Content levels in their systems. Focusing on the very worst DUI offenders, we can hopefully limit the number of tragedies and deaths caused during these senseless incidents.

In addition, a goal of the legislation will be to enhance the oversight of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to help ensure that serious DUI offenders receive intensive alcohol treatment. We need to provide help to these offenders to ensure more families do not face the horrors that Deana Eckman's family is currently enduring.

I ask that you join me to help further protect our families and communities from repeat DUI offenders.

Introduced as HB1821