WMC 5: Congressman Cohen re-introduces bill to crack down on repeat DUI offenders

March 27, 2019
In The News

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Tennessee lawmaker has introduced a bill that would change the way law enforcement across the country reports DUI arrests.

The DUI Reporting Act would harmonize law enforcement reporting of DUI arrests, allowing police officers anywhere immediate access to the latest data, including pending cases, during traffic stops.

“Repeat offenders are the problems, and repeat offenders need to be known and charged that way,” said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee. “They need to get some guaranteed jail time and guaranteed treatment to protect the driving public.”

Cohen and Congressman Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, say there is a loophole in drunken-driving laws that allows repeat offenders to be charged and tried as first-time offenders because of inconsistent reporting.

The bill was sparked by a 2015 case where two Memphis teenagers were killed by a drunk driver who had seven DUI charges but was allowed to plead guilty five times as a first-time offender.

This is the second time Cohen has introduced this legislation.