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'Deana's Law' Now in Effect, Penalties Increased for Repeated DUI Offenses | WDIY Local News


A new state law is increasing the penalties for those who choose to repeatedly drive under the influence. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

PennDOT announced Tuesday that the new law, created by Act 59 of 2022 and referred to as “Deana’s Law,” is changing the grading for certain DUI offenses, according to a release.

It increases the penalties for drivers charged with DUI who refuse a breath or chemical test, have a BAC of 0.16 or higher, or are charged with a DUI involving controlled substances, and who have been involved in prior offenses.

For drivers who have two prior DUI offenses, they will be charged with a third-degree felony and could face up to seven years in prison.

Drivers who have three or more prior offenses will now face a second-degree felony charge instead of a third degree, with a maximum prison term of 10 years.

The new law also requires that individuals convicted of a DUI offense, who have two or more prior offenses, must serve their new sentences consecutively to any other sentence they are already serving, except for violations that are required to be merged.

It also provides for a sentencing enhancement in cases for individuals who have four or more prior DUI offenses, and imposes an 18-month driving privilege suspension for a second-degree felony DUI conviction.

The law is named after Deana DeRosa Eckman, who was killed in a head-on collision in 2019 by a drunk driver that had five previous DUI convictions.

(Original air-date: 11/30/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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