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Bill aims to stop drivers from getting away with murder

Published February 7, 2013 1:44 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah House passed a bill Thursday that lawmakers say may stop some people from getting away with murder on highways, literally.

Representatives voted 73-0 if favor of HB93 to prevent police from issuing tickets at the scene of traffic accidents where someone is killed or seriously injured — and instead requires them to submit reports to a prosecutor for screening and possible filing of charges later.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden, said that would prevent a problem where police, under time pressure, issue tickets too quickly on the scene for relatively minor traffic violations — and find out later that drivers who were taken to hospitals were drunk.

If they pay their tickets quickly for the minor violations, "double jeopardy attaches. So now the charge of driving under the influence cannot be filed," said Rep. Richard Greenwood, R-Roy, a former Utah Highway Patrol officer. "This gives the law enforcement agency more time to do a more proper investigation."

"He's trying to prevent people from getting away with murder, literally," Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, who is a Utah Highway Patrol officer, said about Peterson and his bill. It now goes to the Senate.

Lee Davidson




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