CVU Press Conference on DUII Bills

CRIME VICTIMS UNITED


CVU Joins With Legislators and Advocates To Combat DUII

On Tuesday, February 27, 2003, Crime Victims United held a press conference in the Capitol Building to introduce a group of bills aimed at reducing injuries and deaths caused by intoxicated drivers.

Barbara Stoeffler (left), founder of the Lane County chapter of MADD, is joined by Crime Victims United members Janet Lovelace, Anne Pratt and Bruce Pratt at a press conference in the Capitol.

HB 2900 (LC 2444-1) Sponsored by Representative Randy Miller

Refusal of the Breathalyzer test.

In 2001 there were 3257 people that refused the breath test in Oregon. (Source: Oregon State Police)

There were 25,097 DUII offenses in the year 2001 in our state. (Source: Oregon State Police)

Penalty for refusal right now is a one-year suspension of driving privileges. There are no fines.

The new law would require a fine of $500 to $1000.

Nine states now impose a fine that ranges from $100 to $50,000 for refusal of the breath test.

HB 2901 (LC 2443) Sponsored by Representative Randy Miller

Acknowledgement of the risks of impaired driving.

This bill requires drivers to sign an acknowledgement of risks when they apply for or renew a driver's license and when they register an automobile.

Although everyone now knows that driving under the influence is potentially lethal and irresponsible, many people still do it. Some do it on a regular basis. Some DUII offenders go into court and claim that they didnít know the risks. This bill requires that all drivers explicitly acknowledge the risk of serious injury or death for others and the risk of prolonged imprisonment for themselves.

The average alcohol related fatality in Oregon costs society $3.5 million, $1.3 million in monetary cost and $2.2 million in quality of life losses according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Including this message on license and registration applications in the state of Oregon will send an important and needed message. MADD supports this legislative concept.

SB 421 Sponsored by Senator Tony Corcoran and Senator John Minnis

Raise the crime of criminally negligent homicide to category 9 on the sentencing guidelines crime seriousness scale.

Currently in Oregon, a person convicted of criminally negligent homicide who has no prior juvenile felonies or adult misdemeanors would normally be sentenced to 16 to 18 months in prison. This bill would raise the presumptive sentence to 34 to 36 months for taking a persons life.

Alcohol related crash deaths are one of the most often committed violent crimes in Oregon.

MADD supports an increase in sanctions for criminally negligent homicide, including raising the crime from level 8 to level 9 on the sentencing guidelines grid.

SB 732 (LC 2530) Sponsored by Senator John Minnis

Mandates impoundment of vehicle upon conviction of driving while suspended or revoked. Specifies minimum lengths of impoundment.

Many people who are convicted of driving under the influence, and whose driving privileges are suspended or revoked, drive anyway.

At the present time, the sanctions for driving while suspended are an indeterminate impoundment of the vehicle driven and a fine of $250 to $500.

There were 57,000 convictions posted in 2001 for driving while suspended or revoked. (Source: Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles)

San Francisco, California safety officials credit their 30 day impoundment law with a 63% drop in alcohol related fatal and injury crashes.

LC 2879 Sponsored by Representative Jeff Barker

Amends current statute so that upon the third conviction for misdemeanor driving under the influence of intoxicants, an offender loses driving privileges permanently. Under current Oregon statute, this loss of privileges may be appealed after 10 years.

Currently Oregon law states that the first three convictions of driving under the influence of intoxicants are Class A misdemeanors, only becoming a Class C felony on the fourth conviction. Thus, not until a fourth conviction for DUII do offenders lose their driving privileges.


Speakers List

Representative Randy Miller (R- West Linn) has nearly 20 years experience in both the House and the Senate and presently is the Assistant Majority Leader and co-chairs the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

Representative Jeff Barker (D-Aloha) is a retired police lieutenant who served in the Portland Police Bureau for 28 years. He now serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

Senator Tony Corcoran (D-Cottage Grove) serves on the Revenue Committee and the Business, Labor, and Economic Development Committee. He has served in the Legislature since 1995. One of his goals this term is to increase law enforcement efforts to eradicate methamphetamine labs.

Steve Doell, President of Crime Victims United, was instrumental in passage of legislation and initiatives which have reversed the rising juvenile crime rate in Oregon. His daughter Lisa Doell was murdered in 1992 when a violent youth intentionally ran her over with his car.

Anne and Bruce Pratt, from Springfield, Oregon, lost their 23-year old son Brian to a drunk driver on September 18, 1998. The driver had a long record of irresponsible driving, yet served less than 2 years for killing Brian. Over the past few years the Pratts have volunteered their time and energy to help Crime Victims United with legislation to hold drunk drivers responsible for their actions.

Janet Lovelace, from Pleasant Hill, Oregon, lost her beautiful daughter Katie to a hit and run driver who tried to escape all responsibility for taking her life. Janet was instrumental in passage of "Katie's Bill" in the 2002 legislative session. She and Anne and Bruce Pratt have worked together in writing three of the bills in this package of legislation.

Barbara Stoeffler
, from Eugene, Oregon, lost her son Mark to a drunk driver in 1973. She founded the Lane County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in 1982. She was appointed to the Oregon Governor's Task Force on Drunk Driving in 1982 and helped pass new cornerstone laws during the 1983 Session. She is currently chair of the Lane County Victim Impact Panel.

Josh Marquis is the Clatsop County District Attorney and past president of the Oregon District Attorney's Association. He works tirelessly in the pursuit of victimís rights and justice.


See Also: Senate Bill 421 - Brian's Bill - Increases Consequences for Intoxicated Drivers Who Kill


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