Senate Bill 421 - Brian's Bill Increases Consequences For Intoxicated Drivers Who Kill


CVU Members Spearhead DUII Legislation

On September 25, 2003, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski signed Brian's Bill into law. Senate Bill 421 increases sentences for criminally negligent homicide caused by an intoxicated driver. It raises the presumptive sentence in such DUII ("driving under the influence of intoxicants") cases from 18 to 36 months.

Crime Victims United members Anne and Bruce Pratt spearheaded the legislative campaign for Brian's Bill, named after their son Brian Hood, who was killed in a reckless DUII homicide in 1998. The Pratts received help from other CVU members, from other victims of DUII crimes, and from legislators. Representative Randy Miller and his legislative aide, Dawn Phillips, provided strong support for the Pratts' effort which started during the 2001 legislature.

Governor Kulongoski signs Senate Bill 421, Brian's Bill, on September 25, 2003. Pictured (from left to right): Senator Ted Ferrioli, Bruce Pratt, Representative Jeff Barker (not visible), Anne Pratt, Representative Robert Ackerman, Representative Floyd Prozanski, Crime Victims United President Steve Doell, Marie Armstrong. CVU member Janet Lovelace was also present. (Picture by Buffalo Zobel)

Senate Bill 421 passed the Senate unanimously and passed the House by a landslide. It was part of a package of DUII-related bills for which the Pratts took a leadership or supporting role:

House Bill 2900 calls for fines of up to $1,000 for refusing to take a breathalyzer test when arrested for DUII.

Senate Bill 302 requires that people charged with DUII for the first time plead guilty before they can enter a "diversion" program through which they can have the DUII conviction expunged.

House Bill 2885 permanently revokes the license of drivers convicted of DUII three times (not including the diversion) in a ten-year period.

The package has been called the most significant DUII legislation in Oregon in a decade and has revitalized awareness of the consequences of DUII.

See Also: CVU Joins with Legislators and Advocates to Combat DUII

Marie Armstrong's Testimony on Senate Bill 421

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