HARRISBURG, Pa. -The Pa House overwhelmingly approves “Angie’s Law,” legislation sponsored by Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams), which would crack down on repeat DUI offenders convicted of vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“Driving while under the influence is a senseless and preventable crime, and one that too often has tragic consequences,” said Moul. “Such was the case for 33-year-old Angela Marie Rigby of Fairfield, Adams County, who was driving home from work nearly four years ago when she was struck and killed by a drunk driver. That senseless action left her 4-year-old daughter without a mother and her family devastated. No one should have to experience such needless and enduring pain. What makes this crime even more egregious is the fact that the drunk driver in this case had been charged with DUI just the year before. House Bill 1353 would strengthen penalties for repeat DUI offenders who cause the death of another by choosing to drive while impaired.”
Current law grades the crime of vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol or drugs as a second-degree felony, carrying a mandatory prison sentence of three years with consecutive three year sentences for each additional victim. The law also requires a three-year suspension of driving privileges.
Moul’s bill, which applies to repeat DUI offenders, would grade the crime as a first-degree felony carrying a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison with consecutive five-year terms for each additional victim. Offenders would also have their Pennsylvania driving privileges revoked for life.
“People have known for years that it is illegal to drive while under the influence, yet some still choose to do it,” said Moul. “It’s unfortunate that laws like this are necessary, but when people fail to learn from their mistakes, innocent people get hurt. This crime cannot be tolerated. The price is simply too high.”
Moul’s bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.