A Maine legislative panel has unanimously approved a bill that
would provide mandatory minimum sentences for some of the state’s worst
On Monday, March 13, the Committee on Criminal Justice and
Public Safety approved the bill, which singles out drivers who have been
convicted of being habitual offenders and yet continue to drive anyway.
The Bangor Daily News reported that the committee’s
version of the bill creates a new class of crime for aggravated operating after
a habitual offender license revocation.
Under the law, if the actions of a repeat offender result in
injury to another person, the courts could impose jail sentences of up to five
years and fines of up to $5,000. A five-year driver’s license suspension would
If the actions of the repeat offender result in the death of
another person, the driver would be charged with a Class B crime, which could
carry a jail sentence of up to 10 years and fines of up to $10,000, The Daily
News reported. There would also be an automatic 10-year suspension of the
individual’s driver’s license.
The law has been dubbed “Tina’s Law,” after Tina Turcotte, a
40-year-old Scarborough woman who was killed in an accident in July 2005. Scott
Hewitt, the truck driver charged in that wreck, had a record that included 63
driving convictions and 23 license suspensions and was driving on a suspended
license at the time of the wreck.
Hewitt is currently in Kennebec County Jail facing
manslaughter charges, according to The Daily News.
The bill now heads to the full legislature for a final vote.