SPRINGFIELD-Two House Republicans introduced legislation Tuesday to increase the penalty for hired drivers caught transporting passengers while drunk from a misdemeanor to a felony aggravated DUI.
The proposal, sponsored by House Republican leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst) comes in response to limo driver Richard Madison taking 23 Oswego East High School students to their prom in Glen Ellyn last weekend while allegedly driving with a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit.
"A lot of people think the penalty for that type of behavior with the number of kids involved was significantly lower than it should be," said Cross, who represents the district where the incident occurred.
Partnering with DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin, Cross and Reboletti seek to increase the penalty for hired drivers under the influence to a Class 4 felony, which carries a one to three year prison sentence or up to two and a half years of probation.
"For-hire drivers assume the responsibility of each and every life in that vehicle," Reboletti, a former prosecutor, said. "If they want to abuse that responsibility then they are going to suffer the consequences with increased penalties."