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

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For Immediate Release: March 3, 2009

Sen. Debbe Leftwich

Bill to Strengthen Penalties Against Unlicensed Drivers
in Injury/Fatality Accidents Clears Senate

The full Senate has voted unanimously to approve a measure increasing the penalty for a person who causes the injury or death of a person while driving with a license that has been suspended, revoked, canceled or denied. Senate Bill 1170 was approved 48-0 by the Senate on Tuesday.

“This bill is the result of a particular tragedy in my district. A six year old child was killed because someone who had lost their license decided to get behind the wheel anyway,” said Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City. “Unfortunately, under current law, this is only a misdemeanor. The death of a child should result in more than a slap on the wrist.”

Under SB 1170, an individual knowingly driving with a license that has been suspended, revoked, canceled or denied could be charged with a felony, and if convicted, could serve up to five years in prison.

“It is my hope that with stronger penalties, people who’ve lost their licenses will think twice before getting behind the wheel, but if they do and an innocent person is hurt, they need to be held fully accountable,” Leftwich said. “This bill will make sure that happens.”

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for deliberation.

For more information contact:
Sen. Leftwich's Office: 405-521-5557

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