Why Senator Killion's Proposed "Deana's Law" is a Terrible Development in DUI Law

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Aug 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to continuously monitor the blood alcohol content (BAC) levels of people who have been convicted for driving under the influence (DUI). If the law passes, it would not just be a massive invasion of your privacy – it would also force you to comply with a testing procedure that is notoriously unreliable.

Pennsylvania Senator Proposes DUI Monitoring Law

Pennsylvania senator Tom Killion, a Republican representing Chester and Delaware counties, proposed Senate Bill 773. Nicknamed “Deana's Law” after someone who was killed in a DUI crash, the bill would require people who have been arrested for a third or subsequent DUI offense to wear a Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) device.

While mandating a CAM device is the centerpiece of the law, Senate Bill 773 would also:

  • Impound the vehicle used by someone being arrested for a third DUI offense
  • Double the required time for having an ignition interlock device for people convicted of a third or subsequent DUI from one year to two years
  • Turn jail sentences for people convicted of a third or subsequent DUI from being served concurrently with other sentences to being served consecutively
  • Increase the range of potential jail sentences for those convicted of a fourth DUI from 3.5 to 7 years up to 5 to 10 years, and to 10 to 20 years for a fifth DUI conviction

The Problem: Detecting Alcohol in Sweat Doesn't Work

There is a very basic problem with Senate Bill 773, though: Detecting alcohol in sweat is an unreliable and unscientific way of determining whether someone has been drinking.

There is a reason why law enforcement relies on bloodbreath, or urine testing when trying to get evidence that someone has been driving while drunk: Samples of breath, blood, or urine all come from inside the body, where environmental factors that could skew the results are minimized.

Sweat, on the other hand, comes from the outside of your body. There, all sorts of environmental factors can corrupt the results and create a false positive. That's why the law does not recognize sweat as an acceptable form of evidence of a DUI crime. It simply isn't reliable enough.

The lawmakers behind Senate Bill 773 seem to understand this – they focus on CAM devices as a way of deterring subsequent DUI offenses, rather than as a reliable way of monitoring someone for alcohol. Senator Killion pointed to the use of CAM devices in York County, where there was a 90% drop in DUI recidivism in the first year of use, as support for saying, “CAM devices work. They effectively deter offenders from consuming alcohol.”

Philadelphia DUI Defense Lawyer Joseph D. Lento

These drawbacks to Senate Bill 773 do not even include the most obvious problems with it: The law would keep someone from drinking because of the potential for them to get in a car and would force people to submit to a criminal search of their own sweat every day for years.

DUI defense Joseph D. Lento knows that these measures go too far. Hopefully, the state lawmakers in Pennsylvania will see it, too.

Call attorney Lento is you have been accused of DUI in Pennsylvania at (215) 535-5353 or contact him online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.