The mother of a Madison County teen who committed suicide last year says law enforcement is trying to kill the "Rivers McGraw bill". Young Rivers McGraw was arrested for a dui and was bailed out by a friend in Oxford. He took his own life shortly after his release. His mother has been promoting a bill that would keep minors in jail longer until a parent is notified if they are arrested for a DUI. Lauren McGraw stated:
HB 1089 is being opposed by some in law enforcement who claim that this legislation will impose an additional burden on officers. We feel that this is untrue and have taken all steps to insure the very opposite. The bill states that before a person arrested for drugs or alcohol that is under the age of 21 is released from jail that one of the following conditions be met:
1. A parent pick them up
2. If a parent is unavailable, they are notified by phone
3. The child is released to an attorney representing the parents if they so choose
4. If none of these are possible, the child be released after 8 hours just as anyone else would be. (Today individuals under the influence are already held for 6-8 hours to allow time for the individual to sober before release.) The assumption that this will burden law enforcement officers is completely untrue. In most cases the notification can be made while the officer waits for the tow truck or during transport to the jail. If this is not possible the officer could make notification during the 20 min observation period that is required before an officer can administer an intoxilyzer test.
If the officer is unable to get the needed contact information from the individual he/she documents this in their report and goes back on patrol. To take it a step further, jails will not be burdened since most, if not all, require a person remain in jail long enough to sober up (6-8 hours) before being release per the bond schedule. And if this is not enough, a judge can be contacted in person or by phone and authorize the release of the individual. Officers should not look at this as a burden but as an opportunity to PROTECT young people who may need additional help and SERVE the public by allowing parents the opportunity to intervene when their child has a problem before it's too late.
Lauren K. McGraw
Kingfish note: The Kingfish is not at all surprised some law enforcement is opposing this bill. JJ defends cops on a regular basis but JJ is not blind either. Things tend to change in law enforcement when one tends to get to the administrative level as all too often, chiefs and Sheriffs turn into turf-protecting government bureaucrats. Status of bill.
It is the Chiefs and Sheriffs who opposed making arrest reports public. It is the Chiefs and Sheriffs who fought making 911 calls public. It is the Chiefs and Sheriffs who screech whenever someone mentions asset forfeiture reform. It is not a shock that many of them oppose this bill as it would involve something called work.
The House Committee changed the time requirement in this bill from:
(2) If none of the conditions described in subsection (1) are met, the court shall make itself available for emergency hearing, either in person or by telephone, at the request of counsel representing the defendant. If the defendant remains in custody and is unable to meet any of the conditions of release described herein, the court shall hold a hearing within forty-eight (48) hours of the arrest in compliance with URCCC 6.03. In event that the court is unable to hold such hearing within forty-eight (48) hours of the arrest due to circumstances beyond the control of the court, the defendant may be released on scheduled bail without additional conditions.
to eight hours. However, the Senate Judiciary Committee A slapped a reverse repealer onto the bill:
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017, and shall stand repealed on June 30, 2017.
They were all for this bill before they were against it.