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New Laws Could See Drink Or Drug-Impaired Driving Killers Locked Up For Life

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New Laws Could See Drink Or Drug-Impaired Driving Killers Locked Up For Life

People who cause death by drink or drug-impaired driving could face life sentences under new laws that are to be voted on in Parliament next week.

If voted through, the legislation will see the top sentence hiked from 14 years to life for those who cause death by dangerous driving, particularly if they're over the legal alcohol limit or have taken drugs.

The legislation has taken years to get before Parliament, but MPs will finally have their say on Tuesday.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill will also cover those who kill someone through racing or speeding, or if they're using their mobile phone while driving, as well as operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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As it stands, the current maximum sentence is 14 years.

Under the current laws, 14 years is the maximum sentence. Credit: PA
Under the current laws, 14 years is the maximum sentence. Credit: PA

The legislation was first suggested back in 2015, and was backed by more than two thirds of people when it went through a public conversation after that.

However, it's taken a long time for it to get before the House of Commons.

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Last year, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: "This government has been clear that punishments must fit the crime, but too often families tell us this isn't the case with killer drivers."

The bill - as the title suggests - does not just apply to crimes committed while driving, either.

It will also include tougher sentences for those who assault emergency workers. In fact, sentences for that could double from one year to two.

Dangerous criminals and terrorists could also see their prospects of early release take a hit, as rapists and violent criminals could be made to serve two thirds of their sentence rather than half before they can be considered for parole.

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If passed, the police will have increased powers over protests that cause public disruption, such as Extinction Rebellion, and increased powers to stop and search people in an attempt to curb knife crime.

Furthermore, judges could be given the power to impose whole life sentences on those who murder children.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland. Credit: PA
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland. Credit: PA

Before now, judges would only impose whole life sentences on crimes with a sadistic or sexual motive.

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Buckland added that he hopes the bill will close the 'revolving door of crime'.

Currently, there are about 70 criminals serving whole life sentences in the UK, including Lee Rigby's killer Michael Adebolajo, Levi Bellfield, Dale Cregan and Rose West.

The bill will go before the House of Commons for MPs to vote on Tuesday next week.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Police, UK News, crime, Prison, Politics

Tom Wood
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