'Deana's Law': Bill cracking down on repeat DUIs offenders passes Pennsylvania State Senate

TRENTON, N.J. (WPVI) -- Richard and Roseann DeRosa have pictures of their daughter framed all over their house. These memories are all they have left of her.

"It's excruciating pain when you lose a child. It never goes away. Never," said Roseann DeRosa. Her daughter is Deana Eckman, who was killed last year while driving in Upper Chichester by a drunk driver. It was the driver's sixth DUI.

"Everybody driving drunk is a potential homicide. And people don't look at it that way," said DeRosa.

That's why the family has been pushing for changes to DUI laws, which took form on the state Senate floor Tuesday when state legislators passed a bill cracking down on repeat offenders, lengthening sentences and forcing offenders to wear a Continuous Alcohol Monitor, or CAM device after their 4th DUI.

The bill, called Deana's Law, is more formally known as State Senate Bill 773. Eckman was born July, 1973.

If someone "continues to offend and put people in risk on the highway, those folks maybe should be incarcerated," said bill sponsor Senator Tom Killion, who represents the DeRosa's district.

Still, the bill got pushback from Senator Sharif Street, saying it's going to put more people in prison and be costly.

"We must be good fiscal stewards of the taxpayer's money," said Street.

After a vote, it passed the Senate 43 to 6 and will move on to the House.

"If this bill had been in place last year, our daughter would be alive. We're convinced of that," said Richard DeRosa.
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