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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 28, 2016 10:03 AM
From: Senator Randy Vulakovich
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation to Address Underage Drinking
In the near future I will be reintroducing SB 1224, aimed at addressing a problem in Pennsylvania we often don’t talk about enough – underage drinking. Last year in my district a horrific and tragic death occurred in Shaler Township. A little girl of 6 years old – Ava Campbell – was walking to her home along with her Mother and Sister when an underage drunk driver stuck and killed Ava.

I believe we can make changes in statute to identify alcohol abusers at a young age. This will not only save an alcohol abuser's life, but those who would be put at risk by their poor choices.

My legislation will change the sentencing formula for the second and third offenses of underage drinking, the following would apply:
  • Frist Offense – no changes to the current law, a Magisterial District Judge has the ability to preadjudicate the charge and require the defendant to take Alcohol Awareness classes or community service.
  • Second Offense – the charge may not be preadjudicated and if found guilty will stand as a Summary Offense. The defendant will be required to take an Alcohol Awareness program approved by the Department of Drug and Alcohol programs and be evaluated prior to sentencing on the extent of the defendant’s involvement with alcohol.
  • Third Offense – the charge will not be preadjudicated and will result in a misdemeanor of the third degree and again require the defendant be evaluated prior to sentencing on the extent of the defendant’s involvement with alcohol.
The Pennsylvania Commission of Crime and Delinquency was instrumental in the drafting of this legislation, as well as the Department of Drug of Alcohol Programs. While nothing can make the Campbell Family whole again, I believe this is a step in the right direction to curving in the right direction alcohol abuse in Pennsylvania.

SB 1224 was cosponsored last session by Senators: Alloway, Costa, Dinniman, Eichelberger, Fontana, Haywood, Hughes, Rafferty, Reschenthaler, Sabatina, Schwank, and Ward.

If you have any questions please contact Charlie O’Neill in my office at 717-787-6538.