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New Bill Could Close a Loophole in Pennsylvania DUI Law

A new bill proposed within Pennsylvania state government could close a loophole that has long existed in the state’s laws related to cases of driving under the influence.

Representative Gerald Mullery (D-Luzerne) is responsible for the piece of legislation, entitled House Bill 474. According to Mullery, his law would make sure that anyone who has been injured in a DUI accident will be able to be completely compensated for all damage to their property and injuries that they’ve suffered.

Under current rules, accident victims in cases where a driver was convicted on DUI charges or is placed in a rehabilitation treatment program or facility are eligible to receive the full compensation for their damages. However, the victim is not necessarily entitled to that full compensation if the drunk driver dies from injuries suffered in the accident. This has meant that some victims have lost money that they would have otherwise been entitled to in certain cases.

According to Mullery, approximately 32 percent of all of the crashes related to alcohol in Pennsylvania in 2013 (the most recent year for which there is complete data) involved deaths. Of those accidents, 77 percent of the alcohol-related deaths were the people driving drunk.

While Mullery did not specify, it is likely that this means that the estate of the deceased drunk driver may still be responsible for paying out damages to accident victims.

To learn more about how this new legislation could impact litigation related to drunk driving arrests, reach out to Berks County DUI defense attorney David R. Eshelman.

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