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Ohio House Passes Liv's Law

May 23, 2024
Mark Johnson News

COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 37, also known as Liv’s Law, legislation that would raise the penalty for Aggravated Vehicular Homicides committed by drunk drivers. The legislation was spearheaded by State Reps. Mark Johnson (R-Chillicothe) and Kevin Miller (R-Newark).

Liv’s Law is named after Ohio native Olivia Wright, whose life was cut short as a victim of drunk driving. House Bill 37 will create an appropriate penalty for those who commit the offense of aggravated vehicular homicide and have also previously been convicted of an OVI-related offense. Specifically, the legislation is designed to address repeat offenders whose behavior has resulted in the death of another person. This legislation does not impact first time offenders.

“A constituent, Bryan Wright, brought this issue to my desk after losing his daughter, Olivia, to a drunk driver,” said Johnson. “He pointed out to me how weak Ohio’s laws are compared to other states in the nation, and that is what inspired me to work on this legislation in an attempt to try and deter any drunk driver from becoming a repeat offender.”

The measure also states if an offender has prior vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, or involuntary manslaughter as a result of an OVI offense, the court will have the ability to apply the same sentence. The current language also raises the fines for all aggravated vehicular homicides as a result of an OVI to $25,000.

“Today’s vote brings us one step closer to protecting Ohioans from those who have been repeatedly convicted of an OVI related offense,” said Miller. “It is my hope that Liv’s Law will serve as a deterrent for those who have repeatedly decided to put the lives of others at risk all for the sake of their convenience.”

Liv’s Law now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.