What is Carlys Law?
Carlys Law, otherwise known as the Drunk Driving Child Endangerment Law, is a law that imposes longer prison sentences and higher fines on drivers who cause serious injury or death to a child as a result of drunk or impaired driving. The law is named after Carly Rousso, a 5-year-old child who was killed when a woman high on drugs hit her with an SUV while she was walking on the sidewalk with her mother.
Why Was Carlys Law Needed?
Before Carlys Law, the maximum penalty for a DUI-related criminal offense was 14 years in prison. This included causing bodily harm to someone while driving drunk. However, if the victim was a child – as was the case with Carly Rousso – the offender would face a maximum of only 10 years in prison. The maximum fine for drunk driving offenses was also only $2,000. Clearly, these penalties were inadequate when dealing with cases involving child endangerment.
Carlys Law addressed this problem by imposing stricter sentences on those who caused injury or death to a child as a result of drunk or impaired driving. The law raised the maximum prison sentence for these offenses from 10 to 14 years, while the maximum fine was increased from $2,000 to $25,000.
Who Handled Carlys Law in Court?
One law firm that played a key role in passing Carlys Law was the personal injury law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard. The firm represented Carly Rousso’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who killed her.
After the crash, the driver pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI and was sentenced to five years in prison. However, the family of Carly Rousso felt that justice had not been served. They worked with Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard to pursue a civil case against the driver, which resulted in a settlement worth $8 million.
The law firm then used the settlement money to launch a public awareness campaign about the dangers of drunk driving. This campaign helped to build support for Carlys Law and push for its passage in the Illinois State Legislature.
Other attorneys who worked on Carlys Law include State Senator Dan Duffy, who introduced the bill in the Illinois Senate. The bill was later passed unanimously by the Senate and the House of Representatives before being signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn.
What Impact Has Carlys Law Had?
Since the passage of Carlys Law, prosecutors have been able to seek stricter sentences for drunk drivers who have caused harm to children. This has helped to deter drunk driving and improve safety on the roads.
However, some critics have argued that Carlys Law does not go far enough in punishing drunk drivers. They point out that the law only applies in cases where a child is injured or killed, and does not address the broader issue of drunk driving. They also argue that the maximum prison sentence of 14 years is still not enough to deter some drivers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Despite these criticisms, Carlys Law remains an important step forward in the fight against drunk driving and child endangerment on the roads. By imposing stricter penalties on those who put children’s lives at risk, the law has helped to make our communities safer and prevent tragic accidents like the one that claimed Carly Rousso’s life.
Carlys Law is a law that was brought out of a tragedy. However, it has helped to make our roads a safer place for children and families. By imposing stricter penalties on those who drive drunk and endanger children, the law sends a powerful message that reckless behavior will not be tolerated. Attorneys like those from Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard played an important role in passing Carlys Law and ensuring that justice was served for Carly Rousso. The law stands as a legacy to her memory and a symbol of our commitment to protecting the most vulnerable members of our communities.
LSI Keywords: child endangerment, DUI-related criminal offense, personal injury law firm, wrongful death lawsuit, stricter sentences.