House Approves Farry, DiGirolamo Bill Enabling Paramedics to Assist Police in DUI Cases - Legislation named after fallen Bucks County officer
– The House of Representatives today unanimously approved legislation, introduced by Bucks County State Reps. Frank Farry (R-Langhorne) and Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bensalem), to enable 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.
“If and when a paramedic is available to assist our local police in these instances, this bill would help to alleviate some of the wait time for obtaining crucial test results and reduce the number of times offenders are in the public emergency room,” Farry said.
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.
“When officers must travel to the hospital after an arrest for blood to be drawn in a hospital emergency room, they are unavailable to respond to other calls,” DiGirolamo said. “In areas with small police departments or with hospitals located outside the municipality, this situation could leave the community without an officer on duty, thereby putting public safety at risk.”
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.
“We owe it to Officer Brian Gregg and fallen officers across the nation to do everything we can to aid our police in carrying out their work in a timely and safe manner,” the lawmakers said.
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 now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Frank Farry
Representative Gene DiGirolamo
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam