QUORUM CALL

The state Senate signed off today on two bills that would stiffen the penalties for drunk driving, including one that would set a minimum mandatory sentence of five years for those convicted of an OWI homicide.

The bill includes an exception to the five-year minimum if a court finds a compelling reason for a lighter sentence and places its reasons on the record.

The Department of Corrections estimated the bill in its original form would add $525,1000 annually in agency costs to house additional offenders.

The bill, which cleared on a voice vote, now heads to the guv’s desk.

Meanwhile, the Senate approved a longer mandatory minimum sentence for those convicted of a fifth or sixth offense OWI offense after adding an amendment that would create an exemption to the proposed requirement.

Now, those convicted of a fifth or sixth offenses faces a fine of not less than $600 and be imprisoned for not less than six months. The bill would allow an exception if the court finds a shorter sentence would be in the best interest of the community, the public wouldn’t be harmed and the reasons for the lighter penalty were put on the record.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email