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Are Alcohol Registries in the Future for Pennsylvanians?

Drunk driving is a serious crime that can change lives. Those convicted of DUI face more than jail sentences and steep fines. Many are forced to install interlock devices in their vehicles where they have to prove that they are not under the influence. Others outright lose their ability to operate their cars and trucks.

A lawmaker motivated by a mistake

Another punitive measure is currently under consideration in the Pennsylvania legislature. The bill’s author was motivated to propose the new law after being arrested for his own DUI that resulted in a serious crash on June 3rd. While state Representative Matthew Dowling voluntarily vowed not to run for reelection, he is focused on leaving a legacy based on his mistake.

The Republican from Uniontown is introducing a bill that will create a registry for those convicted of drunk driving to prevent them from purchasing alcohol. The legislation is similar to a self-exclusion list for those suffering from gambling addictions.

Bar staff and liquor store employees would receive notification of the individual being on the registry before allowing them to purchase spirits. Monitoring would become the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

The status would last five years and could be renewed. Options exist for requesting removal from the list. Also, those registering must sign up on their own, not added by someone else.

The soon-to-be former representative confesses that the bill will likely fail in the legislature. Many see it as an extreme measure that creates privacy issues. Others see it as an outright violation of the rights of those convicted of a DUI yet served their entire sentence and want to get on with their lives.