NASHVILLE — State Senator Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) was recently named “Legislator of the Year” by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). In a press release the group praised Overbey and five other Tennessee lawmakers who shared the honors for their “steadfast commitment to saving lives and advancing the group’s ultimate goal – creating a nation of no more victims due to alcohol-related crashes.”
“I am honored to be recognized by such an outstanding organization,” said Senator Overbey. “Drunk driving is one of the biggest threats to public safety and we must remain vigilant to continue the progress we have made in our fight to prevent it. I commend MADD for its leadership on this critical issue and thank them for being a powerful ally of ours in the fight to deter drunk driving.”
The organization particularly thanked Overbey for his efforts in passing legislation which requires a person who commits aggravated vehicular homicide on or after July 1, 2015, to serve 60 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming release eligible; provided, however, that the person must serve at least 45 percent of the sentence imposed after the sentence-reduction credits are applied. The purpose of the new law is to ensure that those convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide serve more of the sentence imposed upon them. Before the passage, such an offender was eligible for release after serving only a mere 30 percent of their punishment.
According to statistics from the Tennessee Department of Correction, the average sentence received for aggravated vehicular homicide over the last ten years is 19.64 years. However, the average time served for the same crimes over the same period was only 7.87 years.
Other Tennessee legislators honored by MADD include Representative Dale Carr (R-Sevierville), Senator Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster), Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) and Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland).