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Minnesota Parents Fight for Tougher DWI Laws - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Minnesota Parents Fight for Tougher DWI Laws

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(KARE) Brad and Heather Bigler want to see something positive come out of the crash that claimed the live of their five-month-old baby.

They appeared at the State Capitol Tuesday to promote a bill named for their son, Drake Bigler, who was killed in June of 2012 in a collision caused by a repeat offender drunk driver. The legislation would stiffen penalties for those convicted of criminal vehicular homicide, in cases aggravated by a past record of drunk driving.

"We know that people are human and make mistakes, but when it comes to the second or third time we were surprised there weren't more serious consequences," Brad Bigler, the Southwest Minnesota State University head men's basketball coach, told reporters.

Bigler was critically injured in the same crash, as was another family member Sharon Schuler. Brad Bigler said the emotion of losing his son is still raw at times, but he's thankful his wife survived the crash and their other children are healthy.

The other driver, who was not injured in the accident, had four times the legal limit of alcohol in his body at the time. It was his third drunk driving offense in 12 years.

He was sentenced to 48 months in prison. Under Drake's Law a person in the same circumstances would face a maximum sentence of 10 years.

"Drake's Law is an important piece of legislation because it honors the memory of Drake Bigler and holds people accountable for repeatedly putting others in harm's way," Rep. Chris Swedzinski of Ghent told reporters.

"What happened to the Bigler family was a preventable tragedy. The consequences should fit the crime."

 

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