Mullery looks to close loophole in DUI law

HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery has reintroduced legislation that would ensure all victims of DUI accidents can be fully compensated for their injuries and damage to their property.

Currently, a victim of a DUI accident can receive full tort coverage only if the driver is convicted of DUI or accepts Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. However, if the drunk driver dies as a result of the accident, even if his or her blood shows he or she was driving under the influence, the victim does not receive full tort coverage.

“While we work to reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes and deaths, it is vital that we simultaneously protect the victims of these accidents. My legislation would help all victims of DUI accidents by closing this unfair loophole,” said Mullery, D-Luzerne.

The Pennsylvania DUI Association’s latest report shows that in 2014 there were 10,550 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 333 fatalities. Of those fatalities, 72 percent were the vehicle drivers. Passengers and pedestrians were far more likely to be injured, rather than killed, in the crash. On average, 20 people are injured in an alcohol-related traffic crash every day in Pennsylvania.

Mullery’s legislation (H.B. 276) was referred to the House Transportation Committee for consideration.