During the Bradley County Commission voting session meeting Monday evening, Commissioner Robert Rominger made a motion to accept a resolution to request that Governor Bill Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly support the passage of Dustin’s Law relative to aggravated vehicular assault. The resolution had been placed once before on a voting agenda but was pulled.
During a meeting in late January, Captain W.G. Campbell with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Officer explained more about the Bill saying, “This is a good Bill.
Dustin’s Law is long overdue. The law we have now states if you get behind the wheel intoxicated and kill someone, you are guilty of vehicular homicide. This bill would change and enhance the existing bill to aggravated vehicular homicide. Right now, you have to have a prior conviction of DUI for it to be aggravated. I don’t think that’s right. This particular young lady in Dustin’s case blew a .24 and had meth in her system driving the wrong way on APD-40. If that’s not aggravated, I don’t know what is.”
“This bill would change that where you don’t have to have that prior, to if you have a concentration level of .20 or higher or .08 or higher with meth in your system and as a result of that you crash and kill someone, you would be charged with aggravated vehicular homicide. Basically, it doubles your time in prison. The current bill for vehicular homicide is 8 to 12 years. The next time someone gets behind the wheel that is double drunk they would have to spend double time.”
“Last year 23 lives were lost in Bradley County in traffic accidents, of which three were alcohol related. In the last six years, 89 lives were lost, 24 of those were in alcohol related accidents. We need to stand up as a community and say we’ve had enough.”
Commissioner Rominger said, “This resolution is a support of us okaying the governor and state to pass this law. After what the Ledford family has gone through, we owe it to them to pass it.” The resolution passed unanimously.
In other business, Commissioner Bill Winters gave an update on the progress of the Bradley County Healthcare Rehabilitation Board. He said, “We met this week with the board and we are moving forward and stabilizing pretty well. The census is at 187 which is above the average in the State of Tennessee right now, so they are stabilizing and holding. Five potential residents are being scheduled for admission. There is still a continual challenge with the Choices program. If a person moves to Skyridge Hospital from either one of our private or public healthcare facilities, there is a potential for them not to be accepted back. We are dealing with the Choices program and TennCare. They are waiting for a survey that has been delayed by the state for several weeks. It’s an audit of the facility. It’s a very good staff and director working together and we’ve had very interesting meetings happening through those transitions. It’s moving forward and taking on these challenges. Medicare has been reduced for individuals by almost 10 percent at this point. These are real challenging times for nursing homes in general. The new rehab addition to the facility will hopefully in place this May to June. Most of those patients would be Medicare or private pay. They are asking for more CNAs, nurses and people to do residential care.”
Commissioner Jeff Yarber pulled a motion for the appointment of a new 5th District Constable to fill the position of the late Ira Cox. Four qualified candidates are being considered at this time. The motion will be put back on the agenda at a later date.
The Bradley County Commission will hold its next work session meeting next Monday at noon.