|Posted:||January 12, 2021 12:17 PM|
|From:||Senator Bob Mensch|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Deana's Law (Repeat DUI Offender Reform Legislation)|
|In the near future, I will re-introduce legislation from last Session, Senate Bill 773, introduced by Sen. Tom Killion, to further protect our families from the heinous actions of repeat DUI offenders.
On February 16, 2019, the life of Deana Eckman, a resident of Brookhaven Borough in Delaware County, was tragically cut short 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 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, other family members and friends. Hoping to save lives and spare other families the heartbreak they are suffering, her family remains steadily determined to change laws that have permitted a revolving door system for the most serious DUI offenders in Pennsylvania.
Focusing on the very worst DUI offenders, we will be taking action to remove drunk drivers from our roads who pose the most danger to all of us.
Last Session, Senate Bill 773, known as Deana’s Law, was introduced following a hearing in the 9th Senatorial District that focused on repeat DUI offenders Testimony was presented by Deana’s family, the law enforcement community, DUI experts, legislators and others.
Throughout the two-year Session, the stakeholders who worked closely with Senator Killion and our colleagues to achieve Senate passage of Deana’s Law twice, included nearly 20 organizations: PA District Attorneys Association, PA State Police, State Troopers Association, FOP, PennDOT, AOPC, National Association of Drug Court Professionals, National Safety Council, MADD, PA DUI Association, PA Parents Against Impaired Driving, and AAA.
Last session, the bill was approved by the Senate by a vote of 43-6. and was cosponsored by Senators Killion, Argall, Bartolotta, Blake, Brewster, Collett, Costa, Dinniman, Folmer, Kearney, Martin, Mastriano, Phillips-Hill, Santarsiero, Tomlinson, and Yaw.
Unfortunately, the bill and similar language in another piece of legislation were not considered by the full House of Representatives prior to the end of session. I ask that you join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation that will help further protect our families and communities from dangerous repeat DUI offenders.
Introduced as SB773