Strengthen Kansas DUI Laws

Strengthen Kansas DUI Laws

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Rebekah Rickstrew started this petition

It is my belief that the DUI laws in Kansas are not harsh enough once a person is convicted of more than one DUI. 

FIRST DUI OFFENSE the offender will receive forty-eight (48) hours of mandatory imprisonment or one hundred (100) hours of community service and must complete a court ordered alcohol and drug safety action education program and/or treatment program (at the offender's expense). In addition, the offender will be fined $500 to $1,000 plus court costs, probation and evaluation fees. Driving privileges will be suspended for thirty (30) days, then restricted for an additional three hundred and thirty (330) days. The offender's vehicle can be impounded for up to one year. 

To me this seems fair. This allows for an offender to take responsibility for their actions and have it not affect their future too harshly. 

SECOND DUI OFFENSE The offender will receive ninety (90) days to one (1) year imprisonment and will be fined $1,000 to $1,500 plus court costs, probation and evaluation fees. The offender must complete the court ordered treatment program for alcohol and drug abuse (at offender’s expense). Offender’s driving privileges will be suspended for one (1) year. After a one (1) year suspension of driving privileges is completed, the offender is restricted to driving only a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for one (1) year. This mechanism makes it impossible for anyone who is intoxicated to start the motor vehicle. Proof of such device’s installation and use shall be provided to the Division of Motor Vehicles before driving privileges are fully reinstated. Offender’s vehicle can be impounded for up to one (1) year. 

It is my belief that the punishments should be harsher starting with the second offense. If you look at the fact that the offender has already developed a pattern of conduct, how will increasing the incarceration time to three (3) months change their pattern of behavior? 

THIRD DUI OFFENSE Offender will be charged with a felony offense, receive (90) days to one (1) year imprisonment and will be fined $1,500 to $2,500 plus court costs, probation and evaluation fees. Offenders must complete the court ordered treatment program for alcohol and drug abuse (at offender’s expense). Offender’s driving privileges will be suspended for one (1) year. After a one (1) year suspension of driving privileges is completed, offenders are restricted to driving only a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for one (1) year. Proof of such device’s installation and use shall be provided to the Division of Motor Vehicles before driving privileges are fully reinstated. Offender’s vehicle can be impounded for up to one (1) year. 

At this point the offender has already been through three (3) court ordered treatment programs, spent at minimum one hundred and eighty-two (182) days imprisonment and has paid a minimum of $3,000 plus court cost. The offender also has a felony on their record, however, the offender has not yet learned their actions are wrong.  

FOURTH DUI OFFENSE offenders will be charged with a felony offense, receive ninety (90) days to one (1) year imprisonment and be fined $2,500 plus court costs, probation and evaluation fees. Offenders must complete the court ordered treatment program for alcohol and drug abuse (at offender’s expense). Offenders driving privileges will be suspended for one (1) year. Any court may revoke a person’s license plate or temporary registration for a period of one (1) year. After a one (1) year suspension of driving privileges is completed, offenders are restricted to driving only a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for one (1) year. Proof of such device’s installation and use shall be provided to the Division of Motor Vehicles before driving privileges are fully reinstated. At the end of the incarceration/work release program, offenders will be placed in the custody of the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections for a one (1) year period of post release supervision which shall be required to include completion of a drug/alcohol treatment program (at offenders expense). Offender’s vehicle can be impounded for up to one (1) year. 

So now  the offender has completed five (5) court ordered treatment programs, spent at least two hundred and seventy-two (272) days imprisonment and has paid a minimum of $5,500 plus court cost. The offender also has another felony on their record, however, the offender has not yet learned their actions are wrong. 

FIFTH AND SUBSEQUENT DUI OFFENSE Offender will be charged with a felony offense, receive ninety (90) days to one year imprisonment and be fined $2,500 plus court costs, probation and evaluation fees. Offenders driving privileges will be permanently revoked. At the end of the incarceration/work release program, Offender will be placed in the custody of the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections for a one (1) year period of post release supervision which shall be required to include completion of a drug/alcohol treatment program (at offenders expense). 

The only difference between this and the prior DUI is the driving privileges are revoked. 

DUI WITH CHILD UNDER 14 Any person convicted of a DUI who has a child under fourteen (14) years of age as a passenger shall have their punishment enhanced by one (1) month of imprisonment. The enhanced imprisonment must be served consecutively to any other penalty. 

How is it an offender can endanger the life of a child and only be given an extra month added to their sentence? 

INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER The Kansas Legislature passed stiffer penalties effective July 1, 1996, for those convicted of involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence. If sentenced under this law, offenders will likely receive imprisonment, ranging from thirty-eight (38) to one hundred and seventy-two (172) months. A new law passed in 2001 amends the criminal history classification law dealing with the crime of involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs to provide that a prior DUI violation of another state's law of a city ordinance or county resolution shall count for criminal history purposes as a person felony. 

However in 2017 it was changed so not all DUI’s changes can be included for sentencing guidelines. If a person is convicted through some municipal courts prior to 2017, those convictions can not be considered for the sentencing guidelines in a current DUI charge. 

Example: A person has three (3) prior DUI Convictions, one in 1998 and one in 2000 through  Wichita Municipal Court and one in 2013 with district court, only the 2013 conviction may be used for the current sentencing. This person who has technically been convicted of three (3) prior DUIs and is now being charged with Involuntary Manslaughter while DUI would get the sentence to only three (3) to five (5) years in prison vs. fourteen (14) years.

I understand the reason for the Appellate Court decision to remove the prior municipal court convictions from the sentencing due to Wichita city ordinance was broader than the state statute. However, if the sentencing was increased for the DUI starting with the second DUI and harsher sentence were implied I believe lives can be saved.

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