SPRINGFIELD – A measure that imposes stricter penalties on distracted drivers who cause a fatal accident and flee the scene without reporting it championed by State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) was signed into law last week

“Fleeing the scene of an accident is irresponsible, potentially fatal for an injured person at the scene and can slow down the efforts of investigators. We have to discourage it,” Crowe said.

Crowe’s measure adds an aggravating factor to sentencing considerations for those who cause an accident by being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or distracted by an electronic communication device and then flee the scene.

Senator Crowe and the Madison County’s State’s Attorney’s Office partnered up to shape this legislation to ensure justice for victims and their loved ones.

“Our office sees the devastation a family goes through after losing a loved one unexpectedly in a car accident, and then as it worsens when justice isn’t served to the driver who refused to report the crash,” said Crystal Uhe, Madison County First Assistant State’s Attorney. “Sen. Crowe worked tirelessly with us to craft this measure to address this growing issue, and we couldn’t be more proud to have a hand bringing those accountable to their consequences.”

Aggravating factors can influence a court’s decision to include an imprisoning sentence or increase the chance for a more severe sentence.

Senate Bill 1750 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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