Farry, DiGirolamo Introduce Bill Enabling Paramedics to Assist Police in DUI Cases
Legislation named after fallen Bucks County officer
HARRISBURG – In conjunction with National Police Week, Bucks County State Reps. Frank Farry (R-Langhorne) and Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bensalem) introduced legislation to authorize paramedics to conduct blood draws on behalf of municipal police departments in alleged driving under the influence (DUI) cases.
Under current law, paramedics are only authorized to exercise their skills under emergency 911 situations or when conducting a routine ambulance transport.
“The Officer Brian Gregg Act will allow paramedics to use their skills to assist our local police with timely blood draws if and when a paramedic is available,” Farry said. “When presented, this option will help alleviate some of the wait time for obtaining crucial test results and reduce the number of times offenders are in the public emergency room.”
Currently, when police officers arrest an individual for suspicion of driving under the influence, the officer will take the suspect to the hospital to have his or her blood drawn for a blood alcohol content test.
“Too often, officers have to travel to the hospital after an arrest for blood to be drawn in a hospital emergency room,” DiGirolamo said. “This can increase the time an officer is unavailable and raise the likelihood of an unsafe situation occurring in a public setting. In some cases, this practice can prove tragic.”
Bensalem Township Police Department Director of Public Safety Frederick Harran said the legislation will assist police in a variety of DUI cases.
“This bill will allow police to do their job more safely and efficiently by helping to prevent people from driving on roadways in the Commonwealth under the influence of alcohol and under the influence of controlled substances like opioids,” said Harran.
House Bill 2058
is named after Bucks County Police Officer Brian Gregg, who was shot and killed in a hospital after a suspect was able to gain possession of his partner’s weapon while undergoing blood and urine tests following a drunk driving arrest. Gregg’s partner and an emergency room technician were also shot.
“In Officer Gregg’s honor, and as we prepare to recognize police officers across the nation who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we wanted to unveil our proposal, which we hope will aid police in carrying out their work in a timely and safe manner,” the lawmakers said.
Representative Frank Farry
Representative Gene DiGirolamo
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam