Local family fighting for stricter penalties for DUI offenders

Senate Bill 961 would create stricter penalties for DUI offenders and make the crime a felony on your third arrest.

It's an issue that's become a very personal campaign for a local family.

"Our son was a wonderful young man, that had so much goodness to give," said Debra Iwaniec.

Debra Iwaniec lost her son, state trooper Kenton Iwaniec, ten years ago when he was hit and killed by a drunk driver.

Every year they hold a memorial race in Latrobe to raise awareness of the the dangers of drunk driving.


But on Tuesday, they were in Harrisburg meeting with lawmakers to get a new law passed.

"Some of the representatives that we met today have also lost loved ones to DUI, so they were very receptive," said Kenton's father Ken Iwaniec.

11 Investigates first told you about Senate Bill 961 in April. It's already passed the Senate and the Iwaniecs are hoping for the same in the House.

Right now, Pennsylvania is one of only four states where repeat DUI offenses are misdemeanors rather than felonies.

This bill would change that and create other stricter penalties.

Statistics have shown repeat DUI offenders are responsible for approximately 40 percent of all DUI related fatalities.