HARRISBURG- A bill that would further support the recovery needs of high-risk DUI offenders who are statistically likely to commit further offenses passed the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 14, according to Rep. Kate Klunk (R-Hanover).
Under current DUI law, Pennsylvania requires first-time and repeat DUI offenders to be assessed for drug and alcohol addiction as a condition of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) prior to their sentencing. However, the assessment process does not consider medication as a treatment recommendation, despite strong evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of pharmacotherapies in supporting recovery and preventing relapse.
Under Klunk’s House Bill 1781
, defendants assessed for drug and alcohol addiction following a DUI charge would be considered for medication-assisted treatment in conjunction with behavioral therapies if deemed clinically appropriate.
“My legislation would ensure both first-time and repeat DUI offenders are offered the means to enter and sustain recovery,” said Klunk. “By providing an avenue for offenders who are battling the disease of addiction to access evidence-based treatment, we can reduce recidivism among impaired drivers and ensure safer roadways for Pennsylvania residents and those travelling through.
“This initiative addresses another layer of intervention in the ongoing opioid crisis. I am encouraged by the unanimous, bipartisan support my bill has received in the House Judiciary Committee, and I am hopeful we can get this bill through to the governor’s desk for a safer Pennsylvania,” Klunk concluded.
Substance use disorders are chronic, relapsing conditions, which have a substantial impact on public health. One way we see this impact is in the rising rates of impaired driving due to the influence of drugs and alcohol. This is a growing concern for law enforcement officials, as they find more and more cases dealing with drugged driving.
Questions about this bill or any other legislative issue can be directed to Klunk’s office at 717-630-8942.
Representative Kate A. Klunk
169th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives