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New Kansas Law Stiffens Penalties After Deadly DUI Accidents

Jason Rojas
flickr Creative Commons

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed into law tougher penalties for repeat offenders who injure or kill someone in a drunk driving crash.

A drunk driver killed 24-year-old Caitlin Vogel in Johnson County in 2016. The man behind the wheel had previous convictions for driving while intoxicated. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison, but the stiffer penalties under “Caitlin’s law” could have tacked on more.

Republican Rep. Russ Jennings, one of the measure’s sponsors, hopes the extended jail time will make people think twice before driving drunk.

“They should understand that they will feel the full weight of the law for their senseless act,” Jennings says.

The changes would add about two years to the typical sentence for a drunk driving crash like the one that killed Caitlin Vogel.


Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @KPRKoranda.

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