West Virginia Law Would Require Stiff Sentence for DUI Fatality

The House of the West Virginia Legislature unanimously approved a bill that would increase the minimum prison term for motorists who cause a traffic fatality while driving under the influence.

Currently those convicted of a West Virginia DUI that involved a fatality would face from 1 to 10 years in jail. DUI offenders are typically credited for days spent in jail while their case is pending in court, diminishing the impact of final sentencing. The new legislation would ensure at least some prison time by changing the minimum sentencing to 3 years and increasing the maximum to 15 years.

According to federal statistics, in 2005 there were 108 deaths in West Virginia attributable to drunk drivers. That equaled 29% of all vehicular deaths in the state.

The bill is now being considered by the West Virginia Senate.

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