Parents of DUI victims urge lawmakers to take action

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Parents of DUI victims are issuing a call to action to Pennsylvania lawmakers at a DUI reform event in Harrisburg Tuesday.

Members of Pennsylvania Parents Against Impaired Driving, or PPAID, are asking legislators to target high risk offenders.

"We're doing it to save future lives, because all these deaths were preventable and we have to start with legislation," said Chris Demko, one of the group's founders.

There are more than a dozen DUI- and DUID-related bills going before the legislature this session that focus on repeat offenders.

One bill would make a third offense a felony. Another would raise the penalty 3rd-degree murder for repeat offenders who kill. There is also legislation geared at treatment.

But Senator John Rafferty, who passed legislation that will soon put breathalyzer ignition interlock systems in the vehicles of Pennsylvania offenders, said getting legislation passed is difficult.

"It took three sessions for me to get the DUI legislation through for the interlock for first time offenders. The importance is to highlight to our colleagues this is an ongoing problem, a continuing problem. Innocent lives, our future in Pennsylvania, are being taken by these drunk drivers," said Rafferty.

While legislators like Rafferty are trying to get votes, groups like PPAID and MADD are trying to get you to take action.

"I would ask people to  contact your senator, contact your rep, tell them that please focus on the DUI, DUID support legislation that is being introduced," said Demko.

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