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February 01, 2020

Delco woman's death could change the law for repeat Drunk Drivers

"Deana's Law" passed the state Senate this week, moving on to the House of Representatives for potential approval.

Inspired by affected persons of a Delaware County woman's untimely death, the state Senate this week passed legislation to increase penalties for drunk drivers with multiple convictions. 

"Deana's Law" is named for Deana Eckman, a 45-year-old resident of Delco who was struck by a drunk driver who at the time was convicted of five DUI's. She died instantly. 

Since Eckman's untimely death last February, her grieving family is pushing legislation that would increase punishment for repeat drunk drivers in Pennsylvania, what some have called a "revolving door system" in this state.

Repeat offenders would now be required to wear Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) devices, under the new law. Devices are strapped to the wearer's body so they can test blood alcohol levels. 

Senate Bill 773 passed overwhelming in the Harrisburg Senate, and now will move on to the House of Representatives where it is pending approval. The bill named for Deanna's birth month and year. 

The legislation would also increase punishment by upping the jail time required for those convicted of three DUI's or more by several years. It would also require "consecutive sentences" for those with three DUI's or more. 

It is being sponsored by Senator Tom Killion (R-Chester & Delaware). It will likely be referred to the transportation committee when it moves to the House of Reps.