House and Senate Democrats working to extend DUI look-back period

07/05/2015 11:40 AM

Lawmakers in the House and Senate are working on mirror legislation to extend the current DUI look-back period from 5 to 10 years.

Sen. Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, and Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington, are renewing the call for tougher DUI laws in memory of individuals in their respective districts.

Parrett introduced and passed legislation out of the state Senate in the 2015 legislative session, but the House never heard the bill in committee due to concerns over costs.

During the session, Flood said there was “a miscalculation of the cost.”

“We inadvertently looked at too large a gap of people who would have been impacted by that look-back period,” she said. “So, the cost will be one that is manageable. But it was an issue that came up in the last session — it’s one we intend to correct information on, and then get ahead of in the conversation with our colleagues.”

The bill brought by Parrett is named for Brianna Taylor, a 17-year old who died in a car accident in 2014. Taylor was struck by a Michael Hilton, who had a blood alcohol level of 0.233.

Hilton was charged with DUI, as well as two counts of assault and murder. A jury found Hilton guilty in June of murder and two-counts of assault and recommended a life term in prison.

Hilton’s last DUI arrests came more than 5-years ago meaning a court would only count this as his first arrest, but Parrett told news outlets that it was actually Hilton’s 6th DUI arrest.

Under the bill pushed by Parrett and Flood extending the look-back period to 10 years means accumulating DUI arrests trigger tougher penalties including: prison time, the amount of time a license is repealed or suspended, larger fines and in some cases how long an ignition interlock device is installed on a vehicle.

Flood is bringing her bill in the state House in the 2016 session in honor of Mark Hinkle, a Lexington attorney who was struck by a drunk driver while riding his bike in Georgetown this May.

The man who hit Hinkle was charged with his fourth DUI. Police say he struck Hinkle head on, and then drove with him in the cab of his truck for three miles.

“I believe if we had this law on the books and had been able to do that in this case it might have made a difference,” Flood told Pure Politics.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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