State Representatives Nan Baker (R-Westlake) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) today applauded the passage of House Bill 300, legislation that would strengthen the penalties on drivers who are convicted of OVI-related aggravated vehicular homicide.
Under current law in Ohio, a person convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide is required to serve a term of imprisonment, and the court must also impose a class one suspension of the person’s driver’s license. This suspension lasts for 15 years, but can begin at the time of the imprisonment.
House Bill 300 alters this law by mandating that the suspension of the driver’s license begins at the time the person is released from prison. Without this change, those convicted of the crime can fulfill the suspension of their driver’s license while serving time in prison, during which he or she cannot drive.
“This bill is common-sense legislation that helps keep dangerous drivers off of Ohio’s roadways,” said Rep. Baker. “It just doesn’t make sense that someone convicted of killing a person while driving intoxicated can fulfill the suspension of his or her driver’s license while imprisoned – a time during which he or she cannot drive anyways.”
The legislation also clarifies the criteria for seeking to modify or terminate license suspensions of greater than 15 years.
“House Bill 300 makes a small but important change to the law regarding operating a vehicle while under the influence,” said Rep. Manning. “Those who break the law, and unfortunately kill an innocent person while doing so, should feel the weight of their punishment by being kept off the road when they return from their imprisonment.”
After its passage in the Ohio House, House Bill 300 will head to the Ohio Senate.