MISSOULA — Emotional testimony was heard in Helena on Thursday from the household of a boy killed in what Missoula County prosecutors allege was a DUI crash on US Highway 93 in February.
The household of 10-year-old Brecken Beard advised the Home Judiciary Committee that imposing stricter legal guidelines on an individual convicted of a second DUI might stop the form of tragedy that is devastated them.
They testified in assist of a invoice sponsored by Florence State Consultant Sharon Greef.
“I am not simply an offended, upset guardian that has misplaced his son. My son can be alive immediately had there been extra extreme penalties and longer probation, extra jail time — an extended monitoring interval,” Daniel Beard mentioned.
“When an individual will get a second DUI, it’s an enormous crimson flag that one thing shouldn’t be working on this individual’s life and simply punishment them shouldn’t be sufficient,” added Brecken’s grandfather. Ed Boniecki. “If they might get higher, they might.
They’d requested Rep. Greef for assist to jot down a legislation that intervenes extra harshly after a second DUI conviction — not simply to stop a tragedy just like the one they’ve skilled, however to assist the individual convicted of impaired driving.
The proposed invoice would have finished a number of issues together with:
- An automated license suspension for 2 years after the second DUI conviction.
- Requiring an individual to put on a transdermal alcohol monitoring system for 2 years. (Generally often called an ankle bracelet).
- Requiring a psychological well being analysis.
The measure handed out of the Home Judiciary Committee on Thursday however was later was reconsidered after which tabled — killing the invoice.
MTN’s Jill Valley spoke to Rep. Greef who shared her response shortly after she acquired the information.
“I don’t suppose I even have phrases to explain my disappointment. And it isn’t my disappointment, however the disappointment, to start with, for the household that’s gone via this tragedy and got here and gave gut-wrenching testimony,” Rep. Greef advised MTN Information. “However simply it’s a unhappy factor for Montana to be primary within the nation for DUI deaths per 100,000 individuals and final within the nation for legislative guidelines for DUI. And it’s horrible. So, I used to be shocked.”
Not all of Thursday’s testimony was in assist of the invoice with Fergus County Choose Kelly Mantooth telling the committee he feels therapy works higher than punishment does.
“Remedy. Remedy is what works,” Mantooth mentioned. “We will make them stare at a crimson brick in a jail cell. We will take their license away we will take their automotive away. They will discover one other automotive and discover booze elsewhere. We have now to repair the illness. The courts cannot do it.
Whereas Greef’s invoice is completed for the session, there may be one other one which’s been launched by a number of lawmakers that features elevated penalties for somebody with 5 DUIs or extra — together with necessary jail time after a seventh DUI conviction.
Daniel Beard advised MTN Information that Thursday felt like a punch to the intestine when the invoice they hoped would go was tabled. Nevertheless, they plan to be again earlier than the legislature in two years to push for adjustments in our state’s DUI legal guidelines.
Remembering Brecken: Dad shares his recollections of his son killed in a crash