Victim Impact Panel Participation Bill Sent to Governor

Mike Seals - April 21, 2021 10:12 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, today passed a bill in the House that would require a person convicted of supplying or selling alcohol to minors to attend a victim’s impact panel. The bill now moves to the governor for consideration of being signed into law.

Senate Bill 283 requires that anyone convicted of knowingly and willfully permitting any individual under 21 years of age to consume alcoholic beverages in a place they own, occupy or lease, or who provides alcohol to a minor, will have to attend such a program. Victim’s impact panels generally consist of victims of drunk-driving accidents or their family members in the event of a fatality.

Ford, a former police officer, said he was pleased to serve as the House author of this bill.

“Being in law enforcement, there was absolutely nothing worse than working an accident scene where minors were killed as a result of drinking and driving,” Ford said. “Making sure adults who provide young people with alcohol have to see the effects of this offense first hand and face actual victims of this crime, or even worse, the family members whose loved ones were killed as a result of such actions, will hopefully lessen these crimes.”

Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, is the Senate author of the bill.

“I’m pleased to get this important public safety measure through the Legislature, and I want to thank both chambers for their overwhelming support,” Brooks said. “I’m so proud of the Southeast High School students who requested this bill who were tired of seeing adults illegally providing alcohol to their peers, putting their young lives in danger and promoting drinking and driving. Hopefully by requiring those adults who get caught to hear the heart-wrenching stories of lives tragically lost to drunk driving, they will never provide alcohol to another minor.”

SB 283 passed the House with a vote of 78-1. It now will be sent to the governor for consideration of being signed into law.


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