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Family works to change the law for DUI offenders

Each year, many people in Pennsylvania are seriously injured or killed because of intoxicated drivers. The problem is a national one, occurring with sobering frequency across the country. One Pennsylvania couple is trying to change the law in the state after they lost their 25-year-old daughter in an accident involving a drunk driver who had a prior DUI convictions.

In the case of the couple's daughter, she was a passenger in a vehicle in July 2010 that was being driven by a driver who was intoxicated. The driver lost control of the car and rolled while traveling along East College Avenue in Pleasant Gap, and the young woman was killed. The male driver's blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was measured at 0.209, more than two times the legal limit of 0.08. The man had already been convicted of an earlier DUI offense just a year prior in July 2009. In that offense, his blood alcohol content measured at 0.136, also well over the legal limit.

The young woman's parents are calling for the state to add provisions to its DUI law that would require first-time offenders to have ignition interlock devices installed on their vehicles. This is not currently required.

It is sad when a drunk driving accident claims the life of an innocent passenger or of another driver. In addition to the grief experienced by families upon suddenly losing their loved ones in this way, they are often also overwhelmed by significant and unexpected financial expenses and other losses. The survivors may want to meet with an attorney to see whether filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the impaired motorist would be an appropriate course of action.

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