Having nearly lost his daughter Kelly in a drunk driving crash, yesterday Rep. Dennis Keene voted for Senate Bill 56, sponsored by Senator Dennis Parrett and Rep. Kelly Flood, to keep repeat drunk driving offenders off of Kentucky’s highways. The House of Representatives passed the legislation to extend look-back period for DUI convictions.
Current law escalates the penalties for multiple DUI offenses, with the fourth or greater offense being a Class D felony that is punishable by up to five years in prison; however, the law only considers the last five years. The expanded look-back period will make it possible to keep more repeat offenders from operating vehicles. Sen. Parrett of Elizabethtown filed the bill to honor Brianna Taylor, a Hardin County 17-year-old who was killed in 2014 in an accident involving a driver with a DUI record who would have faced stiffer penalties under Rep. Flood and Sen. Parrett’s proposal.
Rep. Keene spoke in favor of the bill on the House floor saying, “Let’s make this vote for the people of Kentucky who no longer have a voice because they were killed by a drunk driver.”
In 2015 Rep. Keene passed HB690 requiring ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers. He has been a champion for alcohol safety and for tougher drunk driving penalties. He has received awards from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility for his efforts.