MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) — Pennsylvania is cracking down on repeat DUI drivers in hopes of saving lives. Lawmakers introduced “Deana’s Law,” named after Deana Eckman, who was killed by a drunk driver who had five previous DUIs.
“She would be down the shore with her husband,” Roseann DeRosa, Deana’s mother, said.
That is what Eckman should have been doing this Labor Day weekend.
“Loving life, loving her Sunday dinners, right? Yeah she was the spark of the family,” DeRosa said. “Loving her family.”
Back in February, the 45-year-old was killed when a pickup truck traveling on the wrong side of the road in Upper Chichester crashed head on into the car she was riding in with her husband.
“He’s been doing this for 10 years. He has gone through drug and alcohol programs. Nothing has changed him,” DeRosa said.
The he DeRosa is talking about is 30-year-old David Strowhouer, who earlier this month pleaded guilty to crimes including homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence.
Court records show that this was his sixth DUI.
At a press conference earlier in the day, Eckman’s family was joined by Sen. Tom Killion to introduce Senate Bill 773 known as “Deana’s Law.”
“It happened because he was released and he shouldn’t have been released,” Killion said. “We are going for the worst of the worst. These are people with repeat DUIs with high blood alcohol content levels.”
The bill already has 13 cosponsors and will utilize continuous alcohol monitoring devices that monitor alcohol levels found in an offender’s sweat in order to prevent them from driving.
The proposed law also increases jail time for people convicted of four DUIs or more.
Most importantly for Eckman’s family, the law would require consecutive jail time sentences for offenders rather than concurrent.
If this had been the case earlier this year, Strowhouer would not have been out of jail and behind the wheel the night Eckman was killed.
“If it will help save somebody else’s life that’s our goal,” DeRosa said.
Under the legislation, repeat DUI offenders would be required to wear an ankle bracelet that can tell if there’s alcohol in the system.
It also calls for the vehicle driven by a repeat offender to be impounded.