Stricter DWI laws go into effect in Louisiana

Local News

New highway safety laws in Louisiana impact those convicted of driving while intoxicated. But a mother who lost her daughter to a drunk driver say those stiffer penalties Can’t undo the damage and pain she’s dealt with the last 12 years.

“She lost her life she just turned 21”, says Tammy Crockett.

She recalls the moment she found out her daughter Holli was killed because of a drunk driver. The 21 year old and her fiance were leaving a party when he got behind the wheel intoxicated.

“He killed her he chose to get behind that wheel”, says Crockett.

New highway safety laws just went into effect in Louisiana. The Northeast Louisiana Highway Safety Coordinator Susan Mitchell says the goal is clear.

“We are really sending a message that it needs to stop”, says Mitchell.

Now if you are suspected of drinking and driving you have to pay an additional $50 fine for the use of breathalyzers, going from $75 to $125 dollars. Also, judges are now allowed to extend the probation period up to eight years for those convicted of their third or fourth DWI offense.

Tammy says when her daughter’s fiance hit this tree driving over 80 miles an hour her daughter was decapitated. She says these new DWI laws are not strict enough when somebody’s life is on the line.

“Stop them before they get to the fourth stop them before they kill somebody”, says Crockett.

Mitchell recognizes all it takes is a split second for someone’s life to be in danger at the hands of a drunk driver. 

“All it takes is for one swerve off the road to end up having a wreck and hurting someone else”, says Mitchell.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there’s one alcohol related traffic death every 50 minutes nationwide. Tammy Crockett believes there’s only one way to stop this epidemic.

“Stiffer sentences if people know that they’re going to be held accountable they won’t just freely go out and do this”, says Crockett.

But no punishment will ever bring Holli back. Her mother says she missed out on so many of life’s opportunities.

“He got out got married had a child, he has a life. She has nothing she’s not here anymore”, says Crockett.

District Attorney Steve Tew’s office tells us between 2017 and 2018 there have been two convictions for vehicular homicide one in Morehouse Parish and one in Ouachita Parish.

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