Parents of DUI victims urge legislators to pass tougher laws

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Parents of children killed by impaired drivers are urging Pennsylvania lawmakers to toughen the state’s DUI penalties.

Pennsylvania Parents Against Impaired Driving came to the state Capitol on Tuesday with photographs of their children. They called for action on a number of proposed bills, including Senate Bill 635 which would result in third-degree murder charges for certain repeat offenders and Senate Bill 38 to strengthen penalties for driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

Chris and Susan Demko of Lancaster County, who lost their 18-year-old daughter Meredith in a crash caused by a DUI driver in July 2014, said several bills are introduced to toughen Pennsylvania’s DUI laws each year but very few ever reach the governor’s desk.

The parents asked House and Senate leaders to target high-risk offenders including repeat offenders, high-alcohol-level drivers, and drug-impaired drivers.

“There’s a real need to address this high-risk group, and we need House and Senate leadership to focus on this problem,” Chris Demko said.

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