COLUMBUS—State Representatives Nan Baker (R-Westlake) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) have introduced legislation in the Ohio House that would strengthen the penalties on drivers who are convicted of OVI-related aggravated vehicular homicide.
In Ohio, this crime is either a first or second degree felony, as well as a required term in prison. In such cases, the court is also required to impose on the person’s driver’s license a class one suspension, which last for 15 years.
However, under current law, the 15-year class one license suspension can begin at the time the person enters prison. Reps. Baker and Manning’s legislation mandates that the suspension begin at the time the person is released from prison.
“House Bill 300 is a common-sense bill that protects the innocent by keeping convicted felons, those that caused the death of another while driving intoxicated, from getting their driver’s licenses back early,” said Representative Baker. “In current law, it is possible that the suspended license may begin the first day of entering prison. Given the offender cannot drive while incarcerated, this legislation will mandate that the 15-year clock starts ticking the day the offender is released from prison.”
“This is important legislation because it keeps the most dangerous drivers off of our roads,” said Representative Manning. “These people have taken the life of another while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and they should not be allowed to get their license back shortly after being released from prison.”
The legislation, House Bill 300, also clarifies the criteria for seeking to modify or terminate license suspensions of greater than 15 years. It will be assigned to a standing committee in the House in the near future.