The tragedy behind drunk driving accidents is that but for someone choosing to get behind the wheel of a car while drunk, the accident probably would not have occurred. This is what makes these types of accidents so sad and disturbing, and so difficult for the families of the victims to deal with. Even though there is usually some level of human error in all accidents, there seems to be something even more callous regarding human behavior when it comes to drunk driving accidents. People who are hit by drunk drivers are at the mercy of that impaired driver in many respects.
In Pennsylvania there is legislation that will make it even easier for drunk drivers to be held accountable for their crime. As it stands now, Pennsylvania makes the penalty for a person who is convicted of a drunk driving up to one year in prison. However, if a drunk driver flees the scene of a drunk driving accident then the authorities can only charge that drunk driving with fleeing the scene of an accident and effectively nullifies the law meant to punish drunk drivers with possible imprisonment. The Pennsylvania legislature is trying to fix the ineffectiveness of the drunk driving law so that all drunk drivers will be prosecuted correctly.
The victim of a drunk driving crash and the families of the victims may have a lot to deal with legally in the aftermath of the crash. For instance, if a serious injury occurs in the accident, then the victim can sue for compensatory and punitive damages. If death is the outcome, then along with a claim for damages the family members can file a claim for wrongful death, which is a civil claim, and seek punitive damages as well.
Source: Tribune-Review," Bill would close DUI loophole that now encourages flight," Adam Brandolph, June 21, 2014