New law means longer sentence for repeat drunk drivers who kill someone

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A bill known as "Drake's Law" – which will increase the penalty for killing someone while drunken driving, if you've been convicted of similar crimes before – was signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton last week.

Currently, Minnesota law states a person convicted of vehicular homicide while driving drunk can get up to 10 years in prison.

Drake's law increases that sentence to 15 years – if the driver has been convicted of criminal vehicular homicide or a DWI in the past decade.

Why it's called Drake's Law

The bill was named after Drake Bigler – the son of Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball coach Brad Bigler. In 2012, five-month-old Drake was killed by a drunk driver whose blood alcohol level was four times above the legal limit. The accident also injured Bigler, his wife and her grandmother.

Dana Allen Schoen of Starbuck was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of criminal vehicular operation.

It was Schoen's third drunken driving offense since the year 2000, reported KEYC.

Bigler's wife Heather said that the sentence was “sparse” and that it didn’t “seem like the punishment fit the crime.”

How the law was passed

Drake's law passed both the state Senate and House unanimously, before being signed by Dayton Thursday.

The law will go into effect on August 1.

"This recognized the impact that it has an innocent family, and the taking of lives, and taking people out of families, and how devastating and tragic that is," said the bill's Senate author Gary Dahms, reported KARE 11.

Heather and Brad Bigler have campaigned to get the bill passed for two years, the station added.

"We're happy that everything came together," Brad Bigler told the Marshall Independent. "It's gratifying, for sure, to be able to not only protect our roads, but to know that people will be held accountable for making bad decisions."

Next Up

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.

127266986_2766399800267634_3587849554502438415_n

West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.

EDL1LeKXsAEeH32

How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Shelter-in-place in Albert Lea after police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.

En-KfRaXEAEbuE7

St. Paul officer shoots man who got out of dumpster, ran towards police

A report says the man was naked and had a steak knife.

Screen Shot 2020-11-28 at 6.58.11 PM

Gophers dominate second half to defeat Loyola-Marymount

Marcus Carr scored 26 to send the Gophers to 2-0.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Kandiyohi Co. man airlifted after hand caught in corn picker

Corn pickers are a common cause of farm accidents.

White tail deer

DNR: Passenger shot at deer out of driver's side window

The DNR said 'all sense of safety was disregarded.'

Related