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New Kansas law stiffens penalties after deadly DUI accidents

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Posted at 12:36 PM, Mar 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 13:36:06-05

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new law in Kansas promises harsher sentences for 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 5½ 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.

RELATED | 'Caitlin's Law' passes KS House after metro tragedy