Newport, DE - Surrounded by law enforcement and emergency rescue personnel at Minquas Fire Company, Governor Jack Markell signed into law two bills today laid out in his State of the State address, making streets safer for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and for everyone who uses Delaware roads. The bills provide needed improvements to Delaware’s DUI laws by toughening penalties for repeat DUI offenders and criminally negligent drivers.
“Too many families have lost loved ones to the senseless and preventable crime of drunk driving, including my own cousin, who was killed by a drunk driver,” said Governor Markell. “Everyone can make a decision about whether they are fit to drive before they stick a key in the ignition. It’s a stupid, senseless decision to get behind the wheel drunk.”
The bill are the culmination of work by the staff from Governor’s Office, Attorney General Beau Biden’s office, the Delaware Criminal Justice Council, and members of law enforcement including the Delaware State Police, Delaware Police Chiefs’ Council and sponsoring legislators.
House Bill 168, sponsored by Representative Helene Keeley of Wilmington South and State Senator Patricia Blevins of Elsmere, increases penalties for serious repeat offenders, while at the same time providing treatment for those who need it most. Multiple offenders now face the possibility of more time behind bars.
“Many of us have seen in the press reports of people being arrested for their fifth, sixth and even seventh DUI. In fact, since we passed these bills in June, at least two people have been arrested in Delaware for their sixth DUI,” said Representative Keeley. “These repeat offenders are putting thousands of innocent people on the roads at risk and are a danger to society. Strengthening the penalties and requiring more intensive treatment and monitoring will help save lives by keeping