Bill Moving Traffic Felonies Under Truth in Sentencing Advances

DOVER – Legislation aimed at ensuring that repeat drunk drivers spend time behind bars was released from the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee today.

Sponsored by House Speaker Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, House Bill 415 would ensure that felony traffic (Title 21) offenses – such as third and subsequent offenses of driving under the influence – are covered by Delaware’s Truth in Sentencing statute. Currently, traffic offenses are not covered by Truth in Sentencing, which means that those convicted could have their sentences modified by the Board of Parole. Crimes that fall under Truth in Sentencing are not under the board’s purview.

“This bill will help address repeat drunk-driving offenders. We all see the stories about a fifth, sixth or even seventh DUI. People ask us how come these people aren’t serving more time behind bars, and part of that is the sentencing,” said Rep. Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach. “By putting these traffic felonies under Truth in Sentencing, we will ensure that people who are arrested for multiple DUIs serve their time and are held accountable for their repeated dangerous actions.”

HB 415 now goes to the full House for consideration and will be on Thursday’s agenda.