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Family's lobby for changes after fatal motorcycle accidents

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

A mother's heart is broken, and a family is mourning the loss of their loved one. This devastating loss resulted from a drunk driving accident, and a family is forced to relive this nightmare each time they lobby state lawmakers for a bill to impose stiffer penalties for repeat offenders. In Pennsylvania and in every other state, fatal motorcycle accidents caused by drunk drivers will forever impact families.

A 34-year-old man was enjoying a summer motorcycle ride when he was struck by a pickup truck. The husband and father of three died. The 24-year-old man driving the pickup served five years in prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and accidents involving death and drunk driving with a BAC of 0.16 percent or higher. Families say the inconsistencies in sentencing are hard to deal with, and they are pushing for more stable sentencing guidelines.

Pennsylvania Parents Against Impaired Driving, or PAPAID, is busy drumming up support for Bill 961. The Bill is now awaiting action in the House Judiciary Committee after being passed in the Senate. Under Bill 961, a third conviction for DUI in 10 years with a BAC of 0.16 or higher will warrant a felony penalty. Penalties for homicide-by-vehicle while impaired or drunk would also increase. Pennsylvania does not classify repeat DUI offenses as felonies regardless of previous convictions.

Motorcycle accidents like this take a toll on families, and this one is no exception. Three children will now grow up without a father. Along with the pain of losing their loved one, the victim's surviving family may suffer serious financial hardship as the result of lost wages and final burial expenses. Family members may benefit from consulting with a personal injury attorney to determine whether they can file a wrongful death suit for monetary compensation.

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