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Jocelyn's Law passes state Senate

Albany, N.Y. -- The New York State Senate passed a new law that would elevate the crime of vehicular manslaughter to aggravated vehicular homicide when someone has been convicted of DUI three times, Sen. Patrick Gallivan (R-Elma) announced Tuesday.

The new law, known as "Jocelyn's Law" is named for Jocelyn Elberson, who was killed in November 2012 by a motorcyclist who was under the influence when he hit her and another woman, Shelia Pelton, when they were walking on a bike path outside Buffalo.

The motorcyclist, David Smith, had six previous DWI arrests, four of which were from New York state. He is now serving a four-to-12-year sentence in prison.

The law currently says a driver will be charged with vehicular manslaughter if he or she has one previous conviction.

No additional sentencing exists for those with multiple convictions.

"As a former law enforcer, I have seen all too often the devastating impact that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have," Gallivan said in a statement. "Those who are serial offenders and who cause the death of others should face the harshest penalties possible."

After passing the Senate, the law now goes to the state Assembly.

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Washington Times