WSIL ABC 3 photo of Mt Vernon fire when drunk driver ran into apartment complex
SPRINGFIELD – Getting drunk, getting behind the wheel and wrecklessly damaging property could end in even tougher penalties if a bill sponsored by State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) becomes law.
Last week HB 2606, which deals with enhanced penalties for impaired drivers, passed through the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee and is headed for a floor vote.
The need for this legislation appeared when 31 people were displaced from their apartment complex when a drunk driver ran into their building in Mt. Vernon last year.
“This legislation was brought to me by a county prosecutor who noticed a flaw in the law. Many Mt. Vernon residents were displaced and lost much of what they owned when a drunk driver caused major damage to their apartment complex,” Bryant said. “HB 2606 would allow prosecutors to charge offenders with aggravated DUI when major damage to property occurs as a result of a collision between a vehicle and a business or residential property.”
Bryant says the minimum threshold for damages under the bill would be $5,000.