Bill Denying Shock Probation in DUI Cases Moves Forward

Mar 2, 2017


A Kentucky House bill that would prohibit shock probation in the case of fatal accidents caused by driving under the influence is heading for a vote in the full Senate.

Bill sponsor Robert Benvenuti told the Judiciary Committee Wednesday that Kentucky is one of six states that allows shock probation in such DUI cases.

The panel heard from two mothers, one who lost a son and the other a daughter to drunk driving collisions.  The idea was mentioned of notifying families of victims when shock probation is being considered. Lexington Senator Alice Kerr said that’s not enough.

 “What kind of help is it to these two women and others who are notified?  You know, is that going to bring their folks back that they’re notified that they’re going to be up for shock probation.”

More than one senator raised concerns about eliminating shock probation in situations in which victims are related to the drivers.  Grayson Senator Robin Webb said the family can’t bring back the victim, but there are concerns about ruining the driver’s life, who is also part of a family.

Pike County Senator Ray Jones voted “yes”, but said he would like the bill restricted to manslaughter crimes or higher.

“When you hear Senator Carrol, who’s been a police officer for many years, raise the concern, it just reinforces my opinion that a reckless homicide charge should be eligible for shock probation because that is the lowest level charge that you can see from a traffic collision,” said Jones.