Assemblyman Jim Patterson has re-introduced Gavin’s Law (AB 1067) to close a disturbing loophole in the Vehicle Code that inadvertently encourages drivers, especially those who may be under the influence, to flee the scene of an accident rather than stay at the scene.
AB 1067 would increase the penalties for hit-and-runs in which a person is killed, bringing the penalties for a hit-and-run more in line with the penalties for vehicular manslaughter.
WE NEED YOUR HELP WITH AB 1067 – GAVIN’S LAW
Can you please submit a letter of support for AB 1067?
Letters must be uploaded through the CA Legislature Position Letter Portal. You can do that here: (https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/faces/register.xhtml).
Just create an account, cut and past the language below and submit!
- Enter bill number AB 1067
- Select “Regular session” & “Support”
- Copy and paste text provided below or craft your own message
Please call Asm. Patterson’s office at 559-446-2029 if you have issues submitting your letter.
Dear Chairman Jones-Sawyer, Sr.,
I am writing to express support for AB 1067 (Patterson), which will ensure justice for Californians and increase the penalties for committing a hit-and-run.
AB 1067 is named after Gavin Gladding, a beloved Clovis Unified School District Vice Principal who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run incident in 2018. Sadly, there are so many other families who have been in similar circumstances.
Currently, the penalty for an individual who leaves the scene of a vehicle accident resulting in permanent serious injury or death is a maximum of four years and/or a fine of $1,000-$10,000. The potential sentence for leaving the scene of an incident is not enough to deter drivers, especially those who may be under the influence, from leaving the scene. When these drivers leave the scene, not only are they failing to render aid to any injured victim, but they are also removing evidence from the scene of a crime. Law enforcement officials are not able to conduct field sobriety tests of the driver, document his/her statement, or collect any other pertinent information and evidence, therefore hamstringing the entire investigation.
Conversely, if someone under the influence were to stay at the scene, that person could (and likely would) then be given a longer prison sentence – possibly up to fifteen years – and/or a higher fine, than an individual who fled the scene.
As noted by the Assembly Public Safety Committee members in 2019, there is currently a loophole in the law as it is written that inadvertently encourages someone to flee the scene of an incident, and it needs to be addressed.
AB 1067 addresses this loophole and will increase the possible penalty for hit-and-runs resulting in or death to a maximum possible penalty of six years in jail. By bringing this code more in line with the penalties assessed for vehicular manslaughter, AB 1067 will encourage drivers to stay at the scene of a crime, even if they may be under the influence.
For these reasons, I support AB 1067 and urge an “aye” vote.