Gov. Jack Markell recently signed two new laws aimed at curbing dangerous motorists. The first measure (House Bill 168) strengthens criminal penalties for Driving Under the Influence and broadens the scope for considering past convictions as repeat offenses. The new law allows judges to suspend up to half of the minimum sentence for felony offenders, but requires that in such instances the offender must participate in a program which includes intensive treatment as well as 90 consecutive days of drug and alcohol abstinence as verified by transdermal monitoring devices. The second law (House Bill 174) establishes the new crime of Vehicular Assault in the Third Degree to cover situations where an individual causes injury to another person as a result of criminally negligent driving. The legislation also increases criminal penalties for other types of vehicular assault and homicide. The bills were signed at an August 3rd ceremony in front of the Minquas Fire Co. Hall in Newport.
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