dangerous drivers off the road, and hopefully these drivers will get the help they need to not drive drunk again.”
Senate Majority Leader Patricia Blevins said the new law strikes a good balance between tougher penalties and getting problem drinkers help. “If you’re up for your third DUI, you’re an alcoholic, no two ways about it,” she said. “And to keep our highways safe, you need to be off the road receiving help and treatment. The treatment component of this new law is going to not only make our highways safer, but also will help people start the process of rebuilding their lives.”
House Bill 174, also sponsored by Representative Kelley and Senator Blevins as co-sponsored by Representative William Carson of Smyrna, creates the crime of vehicular assault in the 3rd degree, a class B misdemeanor and enhances penalties for vehicular assalt and homicide to better reflect the seriousness of those offenses.
“Creating a new criminal offense is something we don’t do lightly,” said Blevins, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said regarding HB 174. “But this new law recognizes the need to deal with people who, through criminal negligence, turn their cars into weapons and hurt people. It also brings other sections of the law into alignment and, most importantly, gives our judges the ability to develop sentences that fit the crimes.”
“A car becomes a deadly weapon when an impaired driver gets behind the wheel, and taking those drivers off the street is our top priority,” said Attorney General Biden. “But arresting habitual DUI offenders over and over again clearly does not address the underlying problem. The new law will help offenders stay sober and stop driving impaired, and most importantly, keep innocent Delawareans safe. I’d like to thank Governor Markell, Senator Blevins and