Motor vehicle related offenses

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 479 on motor vehicle related offenses sponsored by Reps. Young, Steuerwald, May, and Washburne.  Rep. Young presented the bill, which provides that a person who commits a Class A misdemeanor or a felony by failing to comply with the duties of the operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident commits a separate offense for each person whose serious bodily injury or death is caused by the person’s failure to comply with those duties. The bill makes it a Level 4 felony (instead of a Level 5 felony) for a vehicle operator whose driving privileges are suspended under the habitual traffic violator law or for a prior OWI conviction or who has a previous OWI conviction within the prior 10 years to cause the death of another person when the operator’s blood or breath has .08 grams of alcohol concentration or contains a controlled substance or its metabolite or if the vehicle operator is intoxicated. The bill also authorizes a court to impose consecutive terms of imprisonment on a person who commits multiple offenses of failing to comply with the duties of the operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death, and provides that the consecutive terms are not subject to the consecutive sentencing limitations that otherwise apply to nonviolent offenses.

The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and a private citizen testified in favor of the bill, which passed 9-0.

Read the bill at https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2017/bills/senate/479