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Bill aimed at extending jail time for those convicted of drunk d - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Bill aimed at extending jail time for those convicted of drunk driving

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Ed werner holds back tears as he recounts the night his son Kaulana was killed while out walking in their Nanakuli neighborhood, allegedly by a drunk driver. 

"When the car that hit my son was so loud the whole neighborhood where we live could hear it.  I don't know how to put it, especially him dying in my arms," said Werner.

The driver has been indicted with negligent homicide and fleeing the scene of a fatal accident - both class B felonies. Werner says they've been waiting 2 years for her sentencing while she's been out on bail, and that he hopes her sentence wont be a slap on the wrist. 

Werner hopes that Kaulana's bill will help ensure that the punishment fits the crime by allowing the courts the discretion to extend criminal sentencing for felons convicted of negligent homicide and failure to render aide. He says that both those crimes allow a maximum of 10 years imprisonment, but historically those convicted have served far less that that. 

Senator Will Espero who introduced the bill with Senator Brian Taniguchi says enhanced sentencing will help deter drunk driving and give justice to families. 

"In some cases individuals have gotten off earlier than you would think. For example if someone only spends a year or two for negligent homicide in prison, some people feel that that is not enough," said Espero.

Werner adds that if Kaulana's Bill passes, it will bring him comfort.

"I just hope the law brings me strength so I can carry on for my grand kids. That was my only son. You know I'm not going to be able to go to watch him get married or have kids or take my grand kids to the park to play sports with them."
 

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