ALTON, Ill. – Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, was recently signed into law increasing the penalties for intoxicated or distracted drivers who dangerously flee the scene of a car accident.
“Fleeing the scene of any accident not only endangers the lives of those involved in the accident, but also hinders the ability of first responders and law enforcement to provide assistance and investigation,” said Bristow. “This legislation helps discourage and crack down on those who make the irresponsible choice to flee the scene of an accident.”
Bristow sponsored Senate Bill 1750, which adds an aggravating factor in sentencing on any person who causes an accident by being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or distracted by an electronic device and then flees the scene. This legislation was brought to area legislators by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s office in an effort to discourage the growing problem of intoxicated or distracted drivers causing and accident and then leaving the scene to avoid a lesser charge.
“This legislation helps to close a loophole that many drivers were exploiting and using in an attempt to avoid a harsher sentence,” said Bristow. “This legislation will not only help our prosecutors as they do their jobs but will help to save lives in accidents where critical information and every minute counts. I will continue to work with our local prosecutors to make sure that we are closing dangerous loopholes in Illinois law and providing law enforcement with the tools they need to help keep us all safe.”
Senate Bill 1750 was signed into law and takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.