Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) applauds the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Governor Tom Wolf for Deana’s Law (HB 773), which increases penalties for people who have multiple DUI convictions and targets offenders who repeatedly drive drunk. Deana’s Law also requires consecutive sentences for a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction.
Deana’s Law is named in honor of Deana Eckman, a resident of Brookhaven Borough in Delaware County, who was killed by a repeat drunk driving offender on February 16, 2019. Her husband, Chris, suffered injuries from the crash. The driver was charged with his sixth DUI.
In a statement after Deana’s Law was signed, Deana’s mother Roseann DeRosa said:
“There are no words strong enough to describe the pain of outliving your child. Deana’s death left a wound in our lives that will never fully heal. What happened to her and our family could have happened to anyone. We are incredibly grateful that Deana’s memory will better protect Pennsylvanians from those who repeatedly and wantonly drive under the influence.
The final passage of Deana’s Law was an emotional conclusion to a 3 ½ year effort to make the roads of Pennsylvania safer for all of us and our families. Changing laws is not something regular people can do. It requires support from many phases of government. Our goal is to prevent other families from this tragedy & to receive the justice that Deana did not.
We would like to thank everyone in the House & Senate for voting yes to a law that will protect their constituents & the support of MADD from the beginning of this tragic & senseless crime. We would also like to thank our family & friends for their support.”
The Pennsylvania Senate voted 46-4 to pass Deana’s Law on July 7 – a vote that received a standing ovation. The House passed Deana’s Law in November 2021. Governor Wolf signed Deana’s Law on July 15.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2020 in Pennsylvania, 322 people were killed in drunk driving crashes—a 7% increase from 2019.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.