Pennsylvania Senate approves tougher penalties for repeat DUIs

Pennsylvania Capitol Building in Harrisburg.
Photo credit Bodhichita/Getty Images
By KYW Newsradio 1060
HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The Pennsylvania Senate has sent the House legislation that would increase penalties for repeat DUI offenders. 

The bill is known as Deana’s Law. It's named for Deana Eckman, a Delaware County woman killed last year in a crash authorities say was caused by a driver with five previous DUIs. 

As the Senate debated the bill, Philadelphia Democrat Sharif Street suggested the bill was an overly broad reaction to a tragedy that might have been averted if the offender had gotten a stiffer sentence for previous convictions.

“A tragic situation where the judge could, in fact, have sentenced appropriately," Street said. 

Suburban Republican Tom Killion, the bill’s sponsor, says the multiple DUI offender deserves tough treatment.

“Didn’t learn after the first time, didn’t learn after the second time, continues to offend and put people at risk on our highways – those folks maybe should be incarcerated," Killion said, 

The bill goes to the state House.