Indiana residents who suffered injuries or lost loved ones in drunk driving accidents once ran the risk of unexpectedly running into the person responsible for the losses they suffered. Being left in the dark increased the chance of a traumatically chance encounter in the light of day.
Taking effect on July 3, the state’s new law provides improved notification for victims of DUI accidents and other crimes that perpetrators are being released from jail.
Changes In Notification To Bring Certainty To DUI Victims
The previous law required notification 40 days before the release. While significantly different from the new notification “window,” the sheer length of time allowed for rescheduling and other changes. Updates were simply not getting to the victims.
The new law mandates that the Indiana Department of Corrections notify them within 48 hours after the offender’s release date. Two days post-release does not seem like much notice. However, it does represent more certainty for victims by eliminating the possibility for changes going unreported to them.
Giving Individuals And Families The Time They Need
The law cannot stop a sudden run-in with a perpetrator. However, it does provide time to process the release before being forced to relive a fatefully tragic day. Victims can meet with therapists. Families can take time to support each other and contact a lawyer if necessary.
Indiana State Senator Randy Head says that while he worked with Mothers Against Drunk Driving in drafting the bill, the new law has applications to any type of crime where violent acts have occurred.