New state law stiffens penalties after deadly DUI accidents


TOPEKA — A new law in Kansas promises harsher sentences repeat drunken drivers who kill or injure others.

Gov. Jeff Colyer on Friday signed “Caitlin’s Law.” It takes effect in July and stiffens penalties for drivers who cause accidents while intoxicated or while circumventing restrictions placed on them because of DUI convictions.

Colyer said state officials hope tougher penalties will send a message to people with a history of driving under the influence. The presumed prison sentence for a person with a previous DUI conviction will be nearly 8 years, rather than 5.5 years.

The new law is named for Caitlin Vogel, a Stilwell special education instructor killed by a drunken driver in 2016 with two previous DUI convictions at the time of the accident. Her 26th birthday would have been Friday.


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