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Ohio House Passes Legislation to Increase Penalty for Hit-and-Run Offenders

"Brandon's Law" strives to save lives and hold drivers accountable
April 2, 2014
Republican Newsroom

State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) today applauded the Ohio House of Representatives’ passage of Amended House Bill 397, which increases penalties for failure to stop after an accident that results in the death of a person or serious physical harm to a person.

Also known as “Brandon’s Law,” Am. H.B. 397 increases the penalty for fleeing the scene of an accident from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony.

“The goal of House Bill 397 is to reduce the number of hit-and-run accidents within our communities by deterring drivers from fleeing the scene,” said Rep. Hill, who sponsored the legislation. “With this law, fleeing the scene of the accident would hurt an offending driver’s chances of seeing a lesser charge and ensure that more drivers take responsibility for their actions.”

“Brandon’s Law” was named in honor of Brandon Pethtel, a 14-year-old boy from Rep. Hill’s district who died as a result of a hit-and-run accident. The motorist later admitted to being under the influence of alcohol and marijuana at the time of the accident.

Am. H.B. 397 will now undergo further consideration in the Senate.