Assemblywoman Garcia Co-Authors “3-Strikes” DUI Bill

"Adam's Law” declares zero tolerance of repeat offenders

Sacramento – Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia (R-Cathedral City) today joined Assemblymembers Russ Bogh and Paul Koretz at a press conference outside the State Capitol to announce new legislation stiffening sentencing against drivers repeatedly convicted of DUI offenses.

AB 4, to be known as “Adam’s Law,” honors 17-year-old Adam Williams who was killed April 21, 2003 by a woman with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than four times the legal limit. Between her first DUI and the crash claiming Adam’s life, she had been arrested twice for public intoxication. Ironically, his father, Steve Williams is a Stockton Police Officer.

Changes to current law would include a “THREE STRIKES – YOU’RE OUT ” provision. Drivers convicted of a second offense with a BAC registering at least twice the .08 legal limit would be required to install an ignition interlock device in their car. A third conviction would result in permanent revoking of a driver’s license. The existing felony enhancements for multiple convictions within a ten year period would remain in place. Research shows about one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted while intoxicated are repeat offenders.

Assemblywoman Garcia stated, “In 2003, parents across California lost 1,626 of their sons and daughters to drivers who refuse to stop drinking and driving. Every time an intoxicated driver gets behind the wheel, they put all our families at risk. It’s time we send a strong message that this type of irresponsible behavior will not be tolerated. If they refuse to seek treatment – the only intervention the state should offer is time behind a jail cell where they can reflect on the pain they have caused families like the Williams.”

The legislators were joined by the Williams family, Assemblymember John Benoit, a retired CHP officer, Paula Birdsong, State Executive Director for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), Cece Stone from Crime Victims United, and PORAC President, Ron Cottingham.

The bill will be heard by the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, April 5, 2005.