STATEHOUSE (April 5, 2017) – The Indiana House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would increase penalties for those who consistently drive under the influence, according to the bill’s co-sponsor, State Rep. Chris May (R-Bedford).
Senate Bill 479 would increase the penalty from a Level 5 felony to a Level 4 for a habitual traffic violator whose driving privileges have been suspended and they cause the death of another person while driving intoxicated from drugs or alcohol. A Level 4 felony is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
“Indiana is committed to ensuring safety is a top priority on our roadways,” May said. “This bill would ensure that suspended drivers under our habitual traffic violator laws would receive a stricter punishment if they kill someone due to their reckless behavior behind the wheel. The dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol cannot be understated and it’s our hope this bill will discourage folks from doing just that.”
May said the bill also includes harsher punishments for other serious traffic offenses. If a driver flees the scene of an accident, this offense would be classified as a “crime of violence.” In terms of sentencing, hit-and-run drivers would be held accountable for every individual seriously injured or killed in the accident.
After being passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate, the bill can now be signed into law by the governor.
State Rep. Chris May (R-Bedford) represents House District 65, which includes all of Brown County, most of Lawrence County and parts of Monroe, Jackson and Johnson counties.
A high-resolution photo of May can be downloaded by clicking here.