CONCORD, N.H. (CBS/AP) — Repeat drunken drivers who seriously injury or kill others will face longer prison sentences thanks in large part to a mother’s advocacy after the death of her son.
Gov. Chris Sununu on Monday signed the Tyler Shaw Law, named for a 20-year-old Concord man who died in April 2018. It allows judges to hand down longer prison sentences to those convicted of negligent homicide who have previous drunken driving convictions.READ MORE: Northeast Metro Tech Football Player Seriously Injured During Saturday Game
At the bill signing, he thanked Shaw’s mother for telling her story, the Concord Monitor reported. Beth Shaw said her experience with the criminal justice system showed her how broken it is.
“I could not walk away without trying to make a change to honor Tyler and all the families who have lost loved ones to drunk driving,” she said.
The driver who killed Tyler Shaw was sentenced to six to 12 years in prison. The crash marked his third arrest for driving while intoxicated.READ MORE: Longtime Watertown Grocery Store Russo’s Officially Closes
Under the new law, a person with one prior DWI conviction who is found guilty of negligent homicide can face 10 to 20 years in prison. If they have more than one prior DWI conviction, the penalty for negligent homicide could be 15 to 30 years behind bars.
Former state Sen. Dan Feltes, D-Concord, sponsored an earlier version of the bill, which was set aside during the coronavirus pandemic. Rep. Daryl Abbas, R-Salem, re-filed the bill this year.
“The loss of Tyler’s life exposed a significant gap in the law. The punishment for repeat offenders did not match the severity of the crimes committed by individuals like the one that took him from this earth,” Abbas said in a statement. “HB179, otherwise known as Tyler Shaw’s law, will better reflect the justice needed for such a crime and act as a deterrent for people thinking of getting behind the wheel while impaired.”MORE NEWS: Tyngsboro Woman Seriously Injured After Hitting Pole In NH Rollover Crash
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