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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: March 5, 2007

Senator Cliff Aldridge
Senator Cliff Aldridge

Senate Approves Bill to Make Reporting a False Amber Alert a Felony

The full Senate has given approval to a measure that would make it a felony to report a false Amber Alert. Sen. Cliff Aldridge, R-Midwest City, is the author of Senate Bill 371. Aldridge said of 13 Amber Alerts that have been filed in Oklahoma, four turned out to be false, including one in his district.

“Law enforcement can tell you that when a child has been abducted, every single second counts,” Aldridge said. “An Amber Alert can literally save lives. But just like the boy who cried wolf, if there are too many false reports, there’s a very real concern the community could start to take these alerts less seriously. That would be tragic, and that’s what we want to avoid.”

Currently, reporting a false Amber Alert is a misdemeanor offense, with a fine of $1,000 or up to a year in county jail. If SB 371 becomes law, it would be a felony offense punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

“We want to send the message that reporting a false Amber Alert is a serious crime, and if you do this, you’ll face serious penalties,” Aldridge said. “The Amber Alert system is too important for it to be compromised by false reports.”

The bill next must be considered by a House committee and then by the full chamber. If the bill eventually is signed into law, SB 371 will take effect on November 1, 2007.

For more information contact:
Senator Aldridge's Office - (405) 521-5584

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