MADD Tennessee Celebrates Legislative Successes for the 2015 Session
MADD was in support of several bills that passed in the latest Tennessee legislative session that adjourned on April 22, 2015.
HB0042/SB1315 – Probation and Parole: sponsored by Representative William Lamberth (R) and Senator Randy McNally (R). This bill, as enacted, requires that a person being convicted of vehicular assault or vehicular homicide serve a mandatory minimum sentence before being eligible for probation. It has already been signed by Governor Haslam and will go into effect on July 1, 2015.
HB0120/SB1316 – Alcohol Offenses, Motor Vehicles: sponsored by Representative William Lamberth (R) and Senator Randy McNally (R). This bill, as introduced, creates a Class C Felony offense of aggravated vehicular assault, which is vehicular assault with certain aggravating factors such as prior convictions for alcohol-related traffic offenses or a high blood alcohol concentration. Was signed by the governor on May 18, 2015, and will go into effect July 1, 2015.
HB00045/SB0030 – Sentencing: sponsored by Representative Dale Carr (R) and Senator Doug Overby (R). This bill requires a person who commits aggravated vehicular homicide on or after July 1, 2015, to serve 60 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming release eligible; provided, however, that the person must serve at least 45 percent of the sentence imposed after the sentence-reduction credits are applied. Was signed by the governor on May 18, 2015, and will go into effect July 1, 2015.
HB1342/SB933 – Victims’ Rights: sponsored by Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R) and Senator Janice Bowling (R). This bill, as introduced, clarifies that a deceased victim’s family has a right to have a photograph, determined by the court to be a reasonable depiction of the victim prior to the crime, be admitted during trial. Signed by the governor on May 20, 2015, this law will go into effect July 1, 2015.
Special thanks to all the legislators that sponsored and voted for this important legislation! MADD Tennessee supports any law that helps further our mission to end drunk driving, fight drugged driving, support victims of these crimes, and prevent underage drinking. Lives are saved with every law enacted that works towards this cause!
If you would like to help see more laws like these enacted, you can lend your voice to the fight. There were still several other pieces of legislation pertinent to our mission that did not pass this year. MADD hopes to see these bills revisited at next year’s session in January. We encourage you to contact your local legislators and thank them for passing the bills listed above. But you can also let them know that you were disappointed that the bills listed below did not get enacted and you hope they will support them for next year’s session. If you don’t know who your legislators are or how to reach them, click here to find out.
HB0576/SB0035 – Probation and Parole: sponsored by Representative Dale Carr (R) and Senator Doug Overbey (R). As introduced, makes a person who commits vehicular homicide where alcohol or drugs were involved ineligible for probation.
HB0457/SB0454 – Alcohol Offenses, Motor Vehicles: sponsored by Representative Dan Howell (R) and Senator Todd Gardenhire (R). As introduced, enacts “Dustin’s Law” in honor of Dustin Ledford who died in 2010 when he was hit by a drunk driver who also had methamphetamine in her system.
HB1193/SB1318 – Alcohol Motor Vehicles: sponsored by Representative John Ragen (R) and Senator Randy McNally (R). As introduced, prohibits both the driver and the passengers in a motor vehicle from consuming an alcoholic beverage or possessing an open container in the passenger area and creates an administrative, rather than judicial, process to revoke the driver license of a person charged with a DUI violation or other criminal offenses.
HB0140/SB1341 – Alcoholic Beverages: sponsored by Representative Jon Lundberg (R) and Senator Randy McNally (R). As introduced, expands the open container law to include the driver of a motor vehicle as well as the passengers…
HB0401/SB1156 – Probation and Parole: sponsored by Representative G.A. Hardaway (D) and Senator Mark Norris (R). As introduced, makes a person convicted of vehicular homicide involving alcohol ineligible for probation.