Lawmaker: No shock probation for drunk drivers who kill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Lawmaker: No shock probation for drunk drivers who kill

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville legislator says people convicted in deadly drunk driving accidents should not get shock probation. She is part of an effort to make sure those who kill others while driving under the influence do not get out of jail early.

Supporters of the bill say shock probation for drunk drivers who kill cheapens the lives of the victims.

Last September, Robert Kempf apologized in court for driving drunk and killing his passenger, Michael Carr. Kempf pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years. His attorney said he would seek shock probation.

"Being in jail for seven months, he has sobered up and come to grips with a lot of things," said attorney Mark Inman last year.

But if Rep. Julie Adams has her way, shock probation would not be an option. She's co-sponsoring a bill that would prohibit anyone found guilty of DUI murder and manslaughter from getting shock probation.

"I think that shock probation is reasonable in so many instances within our criminal justice system," Adams said. "I just happen to think that in this instance it is not appropriate."

The bill got a hearing on Jan. 31 in Frankfort. Debbie Moskwa came from Michigan to Kentucky in support. Her son was killed by a drunk driver in 2002. The driver was convicted but got shock probation after eight months.

"It wipes away everything," Moskwa said. "My son's life was devalued. My son was just traveling through on vacation, and he lost his life. It was stolen from him."

This is the sixth time the bill has come before the General Assembly.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed," Adams said. "These women are not going away. I told them that I would be their advocate in Frankfort. I'm hoping that 2013 is a good year but if not, we'll be back next year."

"My goal here, my mission, is that no other family  has to suffer from shock probation after losing a loved one and having to deal with that issue as well," added Moskwa.

The bill does allow one exception: when the victim's next-of-kin agree to shock probation.

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