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DUI Bills Introduced in PA Senate and House this Session


The list of bills are categorized by those that have similar effects followed by bills without similar effect that were introduced prior to August 2015.  This list is followed by bills introduced after July 2015.

Below is summary information on each bill, including its primary senator or representative sponsor, the latest activity on the bill, the legal summary of the bill and the memorandum providing details on the bill by the sponsoring senator or representative.

Each bill is assigned a number when it is introduced.  Bills introduced in the Senate start with SB and bills introduced in the House start with HB.

1) Required Use of Interlock for DUI Offenders -This is the legislation that MADD is most actively supporting at this time due to its success in states that have passed similar law.


SB 290 – Senator Rafferty
Referred to Transportation, Sept 29, 2015 (House)

An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions, further providing for definitions; in licensing of drivers, further providing for chemical testing to determine amount of alcohol or controlled substance and for occupational limited license and providing for ignition interlock limited license; and, in driving after imbibing alcohol or utilizing drugs, further providing for ignition interlock, for prior offenses and for the offense of illegally operating a motor vehicle not equipped with ignition interlock.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: December 17, 2014 01:41 PM
From:  Senator John Rafferty

To: All Senate members
Subject: Ignition Interlock Legislation


In the near future, I will introduce legislation similar to Senate Bill 1036 from last Session.  This legislation will make the ignition interlock program mandatory for first-time DUI offenders with high blood alcohol levels while at the same time reducing suspension requirements in certain cases.

Research shows there are over 30,000 first-time DUI offenders each year, and that a substantial number will violate the terms of their license suspension and become repeat offenders.

This legislation appropriately punishes those who are convicted of driving under the influence while increasing public safety by making sure those who have shown poor judgment are not able to drive if they have had too much to drink.  Similar laws are in place in 15 states, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, recidivism rates have dropped by as much as 60 percent.  


HB 278 – Representative Greiner
Referred to Transportation 2/2/15

An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions, further providing for definitions; in licensing of drivers, further providing for occupational limited license and providing for ignition interlock limited license; and, in driving after imbibing alcohol or utilizing drugs, further providing for ignition interlock and for the offense of illegally operating a motor vehicle not equipped with ignition interlock.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: January 21, 2015 10:29 AM
From: Representative Keith Greiner
To: All House members

Subject:  Ignition Interlock Legislation

In the near future, I will introduce legislation similar to Senate Bill 1036 from last Session.  This legislation will make the ignition interlock program mandatory for first-time DUI offenders with high blood alcohol levels while at the same time reducing suspension requirements in certain cases.

Research shows there are over 30,000 first-time DUI offenders each year, and that a substantial number will violate the terms of their license suspension and become repeat offenders.

This legislation appropriately punishes those who are convicted of driving under the influence while increasing public safety by making sure those who have shown poor judgment are not able to drive if they have had too much to drink.  Similar laws are in place in 15 states, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, recidivism rates have dropped by as much as 60 percent.  
 
Tragedies related to DUI offenses are far too common across the Commonwealth; it is my hope that you will join me in supporting this important piece of legislation.  Should you have any questions concerning this legislation, please contact Eric Reath on my staff at 717-464-5285 or ereath@pahousegop.com .

2) Increased Training for Sellers and Servers of Alcohol in PA.

SB 692 – Senator Aument
Referred to Law and Justice March 31, 2015

An Act amending the act of April 12, 1951 (P.L.90, No.21), known as the Liquor Code, in licenses and regulations, further providing for responsible alcohol management.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: March 13, 2015 02:49 PM
From: Senator Ryan Aument
To: All Senate members
Subject: Responsible Alcohol Management Training

In the near future I plan to introduce legislation to amend the Liquor Code to require Responsible Alcohol Management Training for any seller or server of alcohol in the Commonwealth. 
 
This training is already required of owners and managers of liquor licensed establishments and to be RAMP certified, at least 50% of alcohol service personnel must be trained.  The training has been proven to help licensees and their employees recognize the signs of visible intoxication as well as identify underage individuals and counterfeit identification. 
 
My proposal has the support of Susan Menges, a Lancaster County woman who lost her daughter, Morgan, and Morgan’s friend, Crystal, to a drunk driver in 2007.  An investigation into the accident discovered that the driver who struck Morgan and Crystal’s car was visibly intoxicated when she was served alcohol at a local bar and when the woman was ordered to leave the establishment, a bouncer actually helped the intoxicated woman to her car.  Moments later, the woman drove head on into Morgan and Crystal’s car, killing all three women.
 
The purpose of my legislation is to help reduce tragic incidents that can occur when an individual has too much to drink or when a minor has access to alcohol.  Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.
 
If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Stephanie Buchanan at 717-787-4420 or sbuchanan@pasen.gov.

HB 719 – Representative Hickernell
Referred to Liquor Control March 4, 2015

An Act amending the act of April 12, 1951 (P.L.90, No.21), known as the Liquor Code, in licenses and regulations and liquor, alcohol and malt and brewed beverages, further providing for responsible alcohol management

MEMORANDUM
Posted: January 14, 2015 02:42 PM
From: Representative David Hickernell
To: All House members
Subject: Responsible Alcohol Management Training Legislation (Former HB 1769 - 2013-2014 Legislative Session)

I plan to re-introduce legislation in the near future to amend the Liquor Code to require Responsible Alcohol Management Training for any seller or server of alcohol in the Commonwealth. 
 
This training is already required of owners and managers of liquor licensed establishments.  The training has been proven to help licensees and their employees recognize the signs of visible intoxication.  In addition, it is important in helping licensees and their employees spot minors and fake ID’s.  The purpose of my legislation is to help reduce tragic incidents that can occur when an individual has too much to drink or when a minor has access to alcohol.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.
 
Previous Cosponsors:  HICKERNELL , BAKER , READSHAW , KINSEY, EMRICK, COHEN , WATSON , MURT , GINGRICH , GILLEN and MENTZER

3) Change in Classification of DUI Related Offences That Would Increase Criminal Penalties

SB 589 – Senator Farnese
Referred to Judiciary 3/3/15

An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in miscellaneous provisions, further providing for accidents involving death or personal injury.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: December 22, 2014 03:50 PM
From: Senator Lawrence Farnese
To: All Senate members
Subject: Hit and Run - Multiple Victim Penalties and DUI Enhancements

In the near future I plan to reintroduce SB 1270, legislation that would address hit and run accidents involving death or personal injury under Title 75, §3742.  In 2012, HB 208 (Reed) was signed into law, which provided for sentencing enhancements for hit and runs resulting in death.  

This bill is similar to SB 889 of the 2011-2012 legislative session, which moved out of the Senate Transportation Committee.  However, several changes have been made with the help of Senator John Rafferty, the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Office and Mark Bergstrom at the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.
 
Specifically, this legislation provides for an additional fine and consecutive minimum sentence to be served for each victim who suffers serious bodily injury (SBI) or death due to a hit and run.  The legislation also provides sentencing enhancements if the assailant was driving under the influence, terms that would be required to be served consecutively under the bill.
 
Hit and run accidents can have the devastating effects on individuals and their loved ones.  We need to ensure that individuals who attempt to evade their responsibility when they cause an accident and do not stop are held accountable.  Each life that is impacted by a hit and run accident deserves to be given adequate justice.
 
I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation.  Please feel free to contact my office with any questions you may have.

SB 607 – Senator McGarrigle
Referred to Transportation March 20, 2015

An Act amending Titles 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) and 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, making an editorial change; further providing for loss of property rights to Commonwealth; providing for vehicle forfeiture when driving under the influence; and further providing for procedure with respect to seized property subject to liens and rights of lienholders, for grading and for penalties.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: January 13, 2015 01:56 PM
From: Senator Thomas McGarrigle
To: All Senate members
Subject: DUI Habitual Offender

I plan to re-introduce Senate Bill 440 of 2013, legislation to address the category of recidivist DUI offenders.  These are individuals who have had numerous opportunities to comply with the drunken driving laws and to take advantage of drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation programs but have either failed or refused to do so.  These offenders routinely ignore restrictions placed on their driving privileges and demonstrate a total disregard for the health and safety of others by continuing to get behind the wheel and driving while impaired.  Removal of these serious offenders from the road and ending their ability to further endanger the lives of the men, women and children in our communities is the purpose behind the proposed legislation.
 
The proposed legislation will remove habitual DUI offenders from the highways in two ways:  First, by requiring a two-year mandatory minimum prison sentence and upgrading offenses in this category to a third degree felony.  Second, by taking away the instrument of crime used during the commission of the offense, namely, forfeiture of the vehicle the offender was driving.  Vehicle forfeiture, along with incarcerating the habitual offender for a longer period of time, are simple and effective means of denying recidivist intoxicated motorists the privilege of using our public highways.  The process and procedures for seizures of vehicles in this legislation mirror those contained in Chapter 68, Controlled Substance Forfeitures, including the safeguards for innocent owners.



SB 776 – Senator Rafferty
Referred to Judiciary 7/16/15

An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in miscellaneous provisions, further providing for homicide by vehicle while driving under influence.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: December 19, 2014 12:16 PM
From: Senator John Rafferty
To: All Senate members
Subject: Homicide by Vehicle while DUI with Prior DUI Offenses


In 2010, According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) an estimated 10,228 people died in drunk driving crashes, accounting for nearly 31% of all traffic deaths that year. In fact more than three people were killed in drunk driving fatalities for every 100,000 Americans. What further complicates the problem is that about one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.
 
These repeat offenders pose a very real threat to the safety of our Commonwealth and roadways. However when they roll the dice and drive intoxicated and take another person’s life they face the same penalty they would face without those previous bad decisions.
 
Unfortunately a recent case in Chester County demonstrates the inadequacy of existing law. In April of 2012, Robert Landis of Chester County, who had 7 previous convictions for DUI, was operating his pickup truck at a blood alcohol level of .28 when he turned in front of 24-year-old Liam Crowley’s motorcycle killing this young man. Even though Mr. Landis had 7 prior convictions for DUI, he faced the same 3 year mandatory and grading he would have faced had this been his first DUI.
 
I believe Pennsylvania law should reflect the enhanced risk a repeat offender poses to the public and increase the grading of the offense of Vehicular Homicide while DUI where a defendant has been given one or more bites of the apple for the most serious kinds of traffic violations.  I worked with Chester County District Attorney to draft legislation that I intend to introduce that will raise the grading of Vehicular Homicide while DUI for these types of repeat offenders from an F-2 to an F-1. Furthermore my bill will increase the mandatory sentence from the current 3 years to 5 years, where the defendant has been previously convicted of DUI or a felony major traffic offense such as Vehicular Homicide or Vehicular Assault, and from the current 3 years to 7 years when the defendant has three or more of these serious convictions.
 
I hope that you will join with me and support this legislation by becoming a co-sponsor.



SB 839 – Senator Smucker
Pending Introduction 7/30/15

As the bill is not up on the Senate website yet, I have attached his press release on the bill: 

HARRISBURG (July 30, 2015) Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-Lancaster) has introduced legislation to crack down on repeat drunk drivers who cause a fatal car accident.

The need for this legislation became apparent after Meredith L. Demko, 18, a Lampeter-Strasburg High School graduate, was killed last July, when her vehicle was struck by a repeat drunk driver.

“This bill is designed to ensure that these crimes are treated with the gravity they warrant,” Smucker said.  “With harsher penalties, the bill has the power to take repeat drunk drivers off the road and prevent future tragedies,” Smucker said.

The legislation introduced today will increase the penalty for killing a person while driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance when an individual has more than two prior offenses within a 10-year period.  It would add a presumption of recklessness or negligence when a person dies at the hands of a person driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

The bill would also consider this offense murder of the third degree, which is graded as a felony of the first degree, if the individual has more than two prior offenses.

An individual who commits a violation and has more than two prior offenses within a 10-year period would be guilty of a felony of the third degree.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that nearly one-third of all DUI convictions involve repeat offenders, and a person with a prior DUI arrest has more than four times the risk of being involved in a fatal automobile accident.

Under Smucker’s bill, the penalty for driving under the influence would be increased for a driver with more than two offenses from imprisonment of not less than 10 days to imprisonment of between two to seven years.  In addition, the fine would be increased from not less than $500 to between $5,000 and $15,000.

“We have to send a strong message:  drunk driving is a serious offense with serious consequences.  It deserves more than a slap on the wrist, especially when a drunk driver’s actions take the life of an innocent person,” Smucker said. “Alcohol and automobiles do not mix, and the law must reinforce that message and reflect the magnitude of the crime.  It’s not too late to save someone else’s life.”
 

HB 1076 - Representative Galloway
Referred to Judiciary April 27, 2015

An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in miscellaneous provisions, further providing for the offenses of homicide by vehicle while driving under influence and for aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: February 26, 2015 10:27 AM
From: Representative John Galloway
To: All House members
Subject: New Offenses for Homicide and Aggravated Assault by Vehicle While Driving Under the Influence

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would add offenses for homicide and aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence.  
 
On January 19, 2014, 15 year old Zachary Gonzalez was struck and killed by a vehicle while its driver was under the influence of cocaine and prescription medications.  The impaired driver also struck and injured 14 year old Jeffrey Garvie, causing a broken shoulder and a bruised lung.  Although the driver was charged with driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance, he failed to be charged with homicide or aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence.  This failure of justice took place because it was determined that the driver’s intoxication was not the cause of the death or injury.
 
My bill attempts to correct this issue by making it a misdemeanor of the second degree, with a maximum fine of $5,000, to commit homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence where it is ruled that the driver’s intoxication was not the cause of death.  My bill also creates an additional misdemeanor of the second degree, with a maximum fine of $2,500, for committing aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence where it is ruled that the driver’s intoxication was not the cause of injury.
 
By creating these new penalties, we can ensure that this technicality will not allow future offenders of similar tragedies to avoid justice.
 
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.


HB 1353 – Representative Moul
Referred to Transportation 6/25/15

An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in licensing of drivers, further providing for suspension of operating privilege; and, in miscellaneous provisions, further providing for the offense of homicide by vehicle while driving under influence.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: January 8, 2015 01:03 PM
From: Representative Dan Moul
To: All House members
Subject: Vehicular Homicide Repeat Offender Grading Prior HB 1733

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol causes nearly 10,000 deaths and 350,000 injuries annually on our highways, yet people convicted of DUI often continue to do so. Studies have shown that nearly 2 million drunk drivers on the nation’s highways have a prior conviction, including 400,000 who have five or more.
Repeat offenders are a time bomb waiting to go off every time they get behind the wheel, yet when the odds catch up with them and they take an innocent life and are charged with Vehicular Homicide while Under the Influence, they face a felony of the second degree regardless of whether they have been previously convicted of DUI or other major felony traffic offense. 

I believe Pennsylvania law should reflect the enhanced risk a repeat offender poses to the public and increase the grading of the offense of Vehicular Homicide while under the influence where a defendant has been given one or more bites of the apple for the most serious kinds of traffic violations.  I therefor intend to introduce legislation which will raise the grading of Vehicular Homicide while DUI from an F-2 to an F-1, and increase the mandatory sentence from the current 3 years to 5 years, where the defendant has been previously convicted of DUI or a felony major traffic offense such as Vehicular Homicide or Vehicular Assault. 

I hope that I can count on your support by becoming a co-sponsor of this important legislation.


Other Bills

SB 60 – Senator Greenleaf
Referred to Law and Justice 1/14/15

An Act establishing a pilot program to provide safe transportation home to persons suspected of having a prohibited blood alcohol concentration; and imposing powers and duties on the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: December 4, 2014 01:46 PM
From: Senator Stewart Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: SafeRide Home Grant Pilot Program

I am reintroducing Senate Bill 311 which establishes a pilot program to provide safe transportation home to persons suspected of having a prohibited blood alcohol concentration.
 
While the General Assembly has enacted numerous laws to crackdown on drunk driving, and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and municipal police have aggressively enforced the laws to prevent and deter drinking and driving, the statistics show that thousands of Pennsylvanians still get behind the wheel when they are intoxicated.  According to 2012 Crash Facts and Statistics issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 11,956 alcohol-related crashes occurred. This represents an increase from 2011 when 11,805 alcohol-related crashes happened.  Alcohol-related deaths in 2012 were 31% of the total traffic deaths, nearly the same as in 2009, 2010 and 2011.  PSP enforcement statistics for 2010 showed that DUI arrests (17,695) were up over 4% from 2009. 
 
A SafeRide Home Grant Pilot Program would represent another tool to combat drunk driving.  The goal of the program is to provide an alternative means of transportation, thus decreasing the crashes, injuries and deaths that happen when an intoxicated patron attempts to drive home.  Wisconsin passed a law in 1999 setting up a SafeRide program.  An analysis in 2004 concluded that the program avoided alcohol-related crashes that would have resulted in over $1 million in economic loss.  In addition, Aspen, Colorado has had a successful “Tipsy Taxi” program since 1983, which provides a free ride home for those who have no other way to avoid getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.  It is a partnership between local law enforcement and the community to encourage residents and tourists to make correct choices. 
 
Under my legislation, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is authorized to establish and administer the SafeRide Home Grant Pilot Program beginning in FY 2015-2016 and continuing through FY 2017-2018. The program would fund local initiatives aimed at providing alternative means of transportation to intoxicated patrons from any premises licensed to sell alcohol beverages to their place of residence. The board may work in collaboration with private organizations to implement the program.
 
The board may award grants to any county, municipality, university, or nonprofit corporation.  The board shall set the maximum amount of any grant under this pilot program and it may not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the costs necessary to provide the services. The liability of a provider of a SafeRide Home program to persons transported under the program is limited to the amounts required for a motor vehicle liability insurance policy under 75 Pa.C.S Chapter 17 (relating to financial responsibility).
 
The board shall develop and publicize an application procedure for those eligible to participate in the pilot program. In addition, the board shall monitor and evaluate the program and upon the conclusion of FY 2016-2017, present a report on the evaluation to the Law and Justice Committee of the Senate and the Liquor Control Committee of the House of Representatives and make any recommendations on the continuation, alteration or expansion of the program.  This report shall be made no later than December 1, 2017.
 
The SafeRide Home Grant Pilot Program will be funded by a $5 surcharge which shall be levied upon conviction of 75 Pa C.S §3802 (relating to driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances).  The pilot program shall expire on July 1, 2018, unless otherwise extended by act of the General Assembly.
 

SB 532 – Senator Eichelberger
Referred to Public Health and Welfare 2/20/15

An Act amending the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.221, No.63), known as the Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Abuse Control Act, further providing for definitions; and providing for specific powers and duties with regard to opioid addiction treatment.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: February 2, 2015 03:21 PM
From: Senator John Eichelberger
To: All Senate members
Subject: Methadone Safety (Karl's law)


I  plan to re-introduce legislation which addresses issues arising from the increased use and diversion of the prescription drug methadone.  Currently, state guidelines in Pennsylvania with regard to methadone clinics are only found in regulation (28 Pa.Code 715.1, et. seq.), rather than in statute, as the General Assembly has yet to formally address this issue. 
 
The bill was Senate Bill 509 in the last session, and was co-sponsored by: VULAKOVICH, STACK, GREENLEAF, KASUNIC, ERICKSON, WHITE, BREWSTER, ALLOWAY, RAFFERTY, WAUGH, WARD, TARTAGLIONE, FARNESE AND VOGEL.
 
The use of methadone as a treatment for both opioid drug addiction and pain management has expanded dramatically.  Prescriptions for methadone increased nearly 700 percent over the last decade alone.  It should come as no surprise that during this same timeframe of increased prescription and increased diversion, the number of poisoning deaths involving methadone increased 468 percent; and the rate of methadone deaths in younger individuals (age 15 to 24) increased 11-fold, according to the CDC National Center for Health Statistics.  Corresponding to this increase in the use of methadone, the National Drug Intelligence Center in the U.S. Department of Justice reported a 109% increase (from 2003 through 2007) in the unlawful diversion of the drug. 
Methadone is a drug with its own unique properties.  According to the FDA, the short duration of analgesic effect with methadone combined with its significantly longer half-life, increase the risk for methadone toxicity. It is potent and long-acting. Unlike other drugs, therapeutic and lethal concentrations overlap with methadone, particularly when someone is just starting to use the drug, giving uneducated, inexperienced users ample time to make deadly mistakes. A dose of the drug can begin to work slowly in the body and last from 12 hours to several days or more. As noted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), one pill or one dose can kill a non or low opiate tolerant person. Even a day or two after the drug is taken, it has lead to deadly consequences for those who mix alcohol or other drugs. Deaths have been reported among children and adults who have accidentally taken methadone, and fatal intoxications have also occurred during the first weeks of treatment or adjustment of the methadone dose.
 
One tragic example of the serious dangers of diverted methadone occurred in October of 2006 when a young man, Karl Hottenstein, sought treatment for an addiction to painkillers prescribed after an auto accident.  He was turned down by a hospital and a standard drug treatment provider, and thereafter died from a liquid dose of methadone diverted from a clinic. 
 
An example of the highway dangers of methadone treatment tragically occurred in my district in 2004.  In that year, shortly after an individual left a methadone clinic, she swerved into oncoming traffic causing a horrific accident.  She was killed, and the driver of the other vehicle was left with severe and permanent brain damage. According to court records and a press release released by attorneys representing the driver's family, methadone combined with other prescribed antidepressants and sleeping pills, caused her erratic driving.  At one previous visit, the clinic recorded in her chart that she was “falling asleep in line waiting for her methadone,” and during another visit “could not even sign her name." Whereas common medical procedures require a chaperone whenever any mild form of sedative is used, it is common practice for methadone patients to be allowed to take their dosage and leave without a driver.
The legislation would amend the “Pennsylvania Drug and Alcohol Abuse Control Act” to require methadone clinic protocols to increase both patient and highway safety.  Specifically, it would include the following:
 
Require all methadone clinics to be open or have coverage 7 days per week, 365 days per year to limit take-home dosages which can be diverted (currently, clinics only stay open 7 days on a voluntary basis).
Require that Narcan (an antidote used to counter the effects of opioid overdose), be offered to patients starting methadone treatment.
Expand testing for substances which, in combination with methadone, increase the incidence of impaired driving
Require testing for Benzodiazepines.  Require a patient who is using Benzodiazepines to obtain a signed waiver from a psychiatrist before providing methadone. (Benzodiazepines possess sedative, hypnotic, muscle relaxant and amnesic actions, and are frequently used by methadone users in combination with methadone to get “high.” The combination also increases the risk of driving under the influence.)
Reduce permissions to take methadone home during the first six months of treatment (current regulations allow at 3 months).
Require criminal investigation and reporting in all methadone-related deaths.  According to SAMHSA: “Without reporting by [providers] of overdose events and deaths of patients, some key questions about methadone deaths will remain unanswered.”
Require a methadone clinic or other provider who prescribes methadone to immediately revoke any take-home permissions upon notice of arrest or conviction of a patient for driving under the influence.
Develop protocols for determining when methadone is no longer an effective treatment for an individual enrolled in a methadone program.

 
SB 870 – Senator Greenleaf
Referred to Judiciary June 8, 2015

An Act providing for duties of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, for educating and training of government-funded professionals who come into contact with individuals engaged in risky substance use and for training programs to educate physicians and nonphysicians in addressing risky substance use and addiction; developing screening and assessment instruments for addictive substances; requiring treatment programs and providers to utilize evidence-based prevention and treatment approaches; and providing for screening at the time of arraignment

MEMORANDUM
Posted: March 4, 2015 02:35 PM
From: Senator Stewart Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Criminal Justice and Addiction Treatment Act
 
I am re-introducing Senate Bill 1104 from last session, which enacts the Criminal Justice and Addiction Treatment Act.
 
Seventy percent of our inmate population has substance abuse problems. If we can address substance abuse in society generally, we can lower the prison population and attending costs. My legislation is based on two reports issued by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University – Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population (February, 2010) and Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap between Science and Practice (June, 2012).
 
Behind Bars II found that drugs and alcohol were a major factor in all crime. Illegal drugs played a part in three quarters of incarcerations while alcohol was connected in the imprisonment of more than half of all inmates in the United States.  The report indicates that “In order to meet the health needs of substance-involved offenders and reduce crime and its cost to society, the criminal justice system must address risky substance use as a preventable health problem and addictive disorders as medical problems.”  It further states “Addressing the substance use issues of the criminal justice population can save billions in government dollars each year:… If less than 11 percent of those who receive such services remain substance and crime free and employed – a conservative success rate – the investment would more than pay for itself one year post release.”
 
The second report, Addiction Medicine, found that most providers of addiction treatment are not medical professionals and lack the skill and expertise to deliver evidence-based treatment and services. The report concluded that “the vast majority of people in need of addiction treatment do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care.” The report also stated, “Only a small fraction of individuals receive interventions or treatment consistent with scientific knowledge about what works.”
 
My bill contains a number of the recommendations outlined in these reports including providing for a comprehensive pre-release plan for inmates with substance use disorders to assure transition to a wide range of integrated reentry services; educating and training government-funded professionals (i.e., law enforcement, criminal justice personnel) who come into contact with individuals engaged in risky substance use, and health care professionals in addressing risky substance use and addiction; requiring treatment programs and providers to utilize evidence-based prevention and treatment approaches; and requiring insurers to provide coverage for screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment − an effective method to intervene in alcohol and drug misuse. 
 
The measure also provides that a defendant, at the time of arraignment, shall undergo screening for substance abuse and addiction. At the time of setting bail, the court may include drug and alcohol treatment as a condition of bail.  In addition, the bill establishes continuing education requirements to train licensees (i.e., physicians, psychiatrists) on the best practices of prescribing controlled substances.
 
The effective delivery of drug and alcohol services and treatment will help to reduce correctional and health care costs. Behind Bars II states  “An overwhelming body of evidence exists documenting that substance use disorders are preventable and treatable health conditions, and that cost effective screening, intervention and treatment options are available that can be administered effectively through the criminal justice system. Implementing these options can save taxpayers millions of dollars and reduce crime.” Addiction Medicine reveals that “addiction and risky use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs constitute the largest preventable and most costly health problems facing the U.S. today.”  Substance abuse is such a driving force in the criminal culture that all of these provisions could play a part in reducing the number of addicts and, ultimately, the prison population. 

 
HB 399 – Representative Cruz
Referred to Transportation 2/9/15


An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in driving after imbibing alcohol or utilizing drugs, providing for impoundment of vehicles.

MEMORANDUM
Posted:December 15, 2014 01:58 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Preventing Drivers from Returning to their Vehicle Immediately After a D.U.I. Arrest (Former HB 2534)

In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation that would deter individuals who have been arrested for D.U.I. from returning to and driving their vehicle while they are still under the influence.
 
On July 22, 2000, New Jersey made national headlines when Navy Ensign John R. Elliott was killed in a head-on collision with a vehicle whose driver had been charged with drunk driving earlier that night. The drunk driver had been arrested for driving with a blood content of more than twice the state’s legal limit. He was taken to the state police barracks and released when a friend came to pick him up.
 
Three hours later, driving the same vehicle in which he had earlier been arrested for D.W.I., he crossed the center line on U.S. 40 and struck Elliott’s car, killing both men at the scene. The friend who picked the drunk driver up from the barracks was later charged with manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and aggravated assault because police identified him as an accomplice to the accident.
 
In response to this senseless tragedy, New Jersey lawmakers passed legislation requiring police to seize the vehicles of suspected drunk drivers and hold them for up to 12 hours. Pennsylvania currently has no such law ensuring that those arrested for D.U.I. cannot return to their vehicle upon their release.
 
I have modelled my legislation after New Jersey’s successful law. Under my bill, anyone who is arrested in Pennsylvania for driving while under the influence will not have access to their vehicle for a period of 12 hours following their arrest. The vehicle shall not be released until the person claiming the vehicle presents documentation including a valid driver’s license, proof of ownership or lawful authority to operate the motor vehicle and proof of valid insurance for that vehicle. My legislation also issues a responsibility warning to persons assuming custody of the arrested person.
 
Driving under the influence is irresponsible, reckless and unacceptable. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation and ensuring the safety of all Pennsylvania drivers. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
 
 If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my Harrisburg office at 717-705-1925.

 

HB 1441 – Representative Caltagirone
Referred to Transportation 7/6/15

An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in driving after imbibing alcohol or utilizing drugs, providing for registry of habitual DUI offenders.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: June 26, 2015 02:53 PM
From: Representative Thomas Caltagirone
To: All House members
Subject: Habitual DUI Offender Registry

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that creates the Pennsylvania Habitual DUI Offender Registry.  My bill is modeled after the Ohio Habitual DUI Offender Registry.  The bill will require individuals convicted of five (5) or more DUI’s or operating watercraft under the influence in the preceding 20 years to be included on a registry.  The registry is to be established by the Department of Transportation.  The registry will be on the Departments’ publically accessible website and shall include the habitual offenders name, date of birth, residence and employment address, number of DUI convictions, and the date and location of each DUI convictions.  The registry will be searchable by the offenders name, county and zip code.  The bill also requires the Court that convicts the habitual offender of the fifth or subsequent DUI to submit the information to the Department within 30 days of the conviction.  The database is to be updated monthly.    

I am introducing this bill because of a heartbreaking story out of Luzerne County where Paula M. Jones, a 31 year old mother, was murdered on a Sunday afternoon by a drunk driver and left for dead alongside the road.  Paula was training for an Ironman triathlon and running along Harveys Lake Drive at about 6:10 p.m. when she was struck by Michael Scavone.  Scavone, is a 50-year-old man who according to court records had previously been charged with five DUI’s and another for operating a boat at a high rate of speed with a blood alcohol level of 0.158.  What’s more, Scavone left the scene of the crime and when found by police admitted that he operated the vehicle used in the hit-and-run and had been drinking all day, he was quoted as saying he “struck something” on the way home and he was “lucky he had made it home.”  Scavone’s blood was drawn two hours after the hit-and-run and his blood alcohol level was still 0.214.  Unfortunately, for Paula’s family and her 14 year old daughter Kyla, she never made it home.

I hope you will join me in honoring Paula’s life by supporting this legislation.

 
HB 474 – Representative Mullery
Referred to Transportation 2/12/15

An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in financial responsibility, further providing for election of tort options.

MEMORANDUM
Posted: January 7, 2015 02:35 PM
From: Representative Gerald Mullery
To: All House members
Subject: Tort Claims: DUI Victims

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending Title 75 (Vehicles), Section 1705 (Election of Tort Options), of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes in order to close a loophole that prevents victims of DUI accidents from receiving full tort coverage if the driver dies as a result of the accident.
 
Under current law, a victim of an accident where the driver was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance is able to receive full tort coverage, if the driver is convicted of a DUI or accepts Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD).  However, if the driver dies as a result of the accident, the victim does not receive full tort coverage even if the driver’s blood shows he or she was driving under the influence.  Therefore, current law does not provide the same benefits to all victims of DUI accidents. 
 
Drinking and driving is one of the top safety issues faced by Pennsylvanians.In 2013, there were 11,041 alcohol-related crashes in Pennsylvania, and deaths in these crashes accounted for 32 percent of the total traffic deaths in the state.Of all the alcohol-related deaths, 77 percent were the drunk drivers themselves.
 
In order to combat this serious issue, it is necessary that Pennsylvania continues to maintain an aggressive posture with regard to drinking and driving that will hopefully deter future offenders.However, as long as this problem persists, it is our responsibility to give as much assistance as possible to the victims of these incidents.My legislation seeks to further help victims of DUI accidents, and close this unfair loophole. As such, I urge you to join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation. Thank you.


Additional Bills Introduced Since July 31, 2015

HB1692 – Representative Harry Readshaw


Posted:  November 7, 2015 11:36 AM
From: Representative Harry Readshaw
To: All House members
Subject: Involuntary Commitment for Drug & Alcohol Treatment

Referred to HUMAN SERVICES, Nov. 12, 2015 [House]


An Act providing for involuntary treatment requirements and procedures for individuals suffering from alcohol and other drug abuse; and imposing duties on the Department of Health and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.


MEMORANDUM

Pennsylvania families are the front lines of the opiate epidemic in this Commonwealth. In an effort to provide families with another avenue of resources, I will be introducing Legislation which would allow for involuntary commitment for drug and alcohol abuse. This will be an added to the arsenal of resources already available to families. This legislation is based on the Ohio "Casey's" law and the Florida "Jennifer's" law. This legislation was requested by my friend/constituent who recently lost his son, Matthew, because of drug overdoses.
 
Please join me in Cosponsoring this legislation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly or call my staff, Margaret Tricarico at 717-772-5568 or mtricari@pahouse.net. 

Thank you!

 
HB1511 – Representative Gene DiGirolamo

Referred to HUMAN SERVICES, Aug. 26, 2015 [House]

An Act amending Title 35 (Health and Safety) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for emergency addiction treatment; imposing powers and duties on the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs; establishing the Emergency Addiction Treatment Program and the Opioid Reparation and Accountability Fund; and imposing fines and penalties.

MEMORANDUM

Posted:     June 24, 2015 09:04 AM
From:       Representative Gene DiGirolamo  
To:           All House members 
Subject:    Emergency Addiction Treatment Fund

 I am so tired of hearing from parents with dead kids, young people dead from drug overdoses.

2,525 Pennsylvanians died in 2013 with numbers expected to go up.  That’s 2,525 grieving families who lost loved    ones to this entirely preventable and entirely treatable problem.

By midnight tonight, 7 additional Pennsylvanians will have died from a drug overdose.

Last session we worked together to enact two critically important laws to address the problem.  The Prescription Drug Monitoring law will eventually cut down on access to unneeded prescription opiates.  In addition, we enacted a law making the life-saving drug, Narcan available to our communities by providing training and liability protections for first responders and others.

We know that prescription opiates are driving both the overdose death rate and the growing heroin problem in the state.

It’s time.  It’s time for the manufacturers and marketers of prescription opioids to step up, own up, clean up and address the damage to our communities and to our families.

I expect to introduce legislation shortly that will impose a 10% impact fee on the sales of opioids in the state of Pennsylvania.

The impact fee will go to counties to fund Narcan for local police, EMS and others, drug and alcohol counseling in county jails and to clean up other criminal justice costs.

In addition, the impact fee will support the Emergency Addiction Treatment Fund in the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and establish a program that will assist consumers in accessing their own health care plans.  All counties will have access to these dollars.  Finally, funds will be used to support and maintain the Prescription Drug Monitoring program.


HB 1775 – Representative Dom Costa

 Referred to TRANSPORTATION, Jan. 4, 2016 [House]

An Act amending Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in bonds and recognizances, providing for bail in driving under influence offenses.
 

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 21, 2015 02:51 PM
From: Representative Dom Costa
To: All House members
Subject: DUI Ignition Interlock Systems as a Condition of Bail

In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that would require installation of an ignition interlock system as a condition of bail for certain DUI offenders.
 
Specifically, my legislation would impose the requirement on defendants who are charged with a second or subsequent DUI offense within the past ten years.  Judges are also given the discretion to order installation of an ignition interlock system if they believe it is necessary to ensure the safety of any person or the community, even if the defendant is not a repeat offender.  Defendants would be required to participate in a 24/7 sobriety monitoring program until they can show proof that the ignition interlock system was installed.  Bail can be revoked if the defendant is arrested for a subsequent DUI violation, drives a vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock system, or tampers with the system.
 
Under current law, a judge can only order installation of an ignition interlock system if a person is convicted of a DUI offense.  However, DUI offenders, especially repeat offenders, can still pose a safety risk to the community when they are released pending trial.  My legislation protects the public from harm while still allowing the defendant to maintain freedom and the ability to drive when awaiting trial.  Importantly, my legislation also protects the assumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty.  The county would cover the cost of the ignition interlock system and the sobriety monitoring program.  Then, if the defendant is convicted, he or she would reimburse the county for all costs.
 
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.