New Florida Law Cracks Down on Drunk Drivers

Drunk drivers who kill someone then flee the scene face tougher penalties under a law signed by Governor Charlie Crist Wednesday.

Crist was joined at the signing ceremony by the parents of Adam Arnold, a 16-year-old killed in Key West in 1996. The new law imposes a mandatory two-year minimum sentence, and also requires drivers to make restitution to victims or their families.

“The boy who killed my son literally got three years probation," Doris Arnold says. "And I got stuck with the medical bills and the loss of my son. This obviously wont’ help Adam, but it will help others because hit and run happens every day, and this will help. At least it brings some sort of penalty and will correct the wrong that the system had overlooked.”

The Adam Arnold Act takes effect July 1. The governor also signed several other public safety bills Wednesday, including one to toughen penalties for crimes committed against police officers and another requiring a special notification on the driver’s license of sex offenders and predators.

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