New Oklahoma laws – 186 total – took effect today (November 1, 2011), ranging from sweeping civil lawsuits to restrictions on abortion, reducing the state’s overcrowded prison system, the Aaron’s Law and The Erin Elizabeth Swezey Act.
“Aaron’s Law,” is a bill that calls for the immediate revocation of a driver’s license for one year if a driver is convicted of reckless driving, running a traffic light or stop sign that results in great bodily injury, or failing to stop for a school bus loading or unloading children.
This law increases the fine for negligent homicide from $100 to not less than $1,000. It also provides that any person convicted of negligent homicide will be required to attend a driver improvement or defensive driving course.
Aaron’s Law states that if the person has been previously convicted for any traffic offense in the preceding 3 years, the fine will be enhanced to double the original amount.
The bill was named in honor of 17-year-old Aaron Zentz, a Yukon High School student who was killed in 2009 when a woman with numerous convictions for prior traffic offenses ran a red light and slammed into his car.
The Erin Swezey Act will require those convicted of driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol content of .15 or higher to have an ignition interlock device attached to their car for 18 months. A second conviction will require the device for four years, and subsequent offenses will lead to having the lock installed for five years.
Erin Elizabeth Swezey was a Oklahoma University student who was killed by a drunk driver in 2009.
Two anti-abortion measures are now in effect, Oklahoma is now among the most restrictive on abortion.
One bans abortions after 20 weeks and the other prevents health insurance policies sold in the state from covering elective abortions. A third bill was supposed to have taken effect, but is currently on hold by a district court judge.