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Sarah's Bill
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Sarah’s Bill close to passing

Photo: Representative Steve Eliason

SALT LAKE CITY — The Davis County teenager who was critically injured by a drunk driver was at the Capitol to see strong support for “Sarah’s Bill” a new DUI bill named for her.

Sarah Frei gaveled in the House on Tuesday, and she and her father Greg Frei did the prayer and pledge. Then they were on the Senate floor as senators discussed the bill.

 

“We’ve seen some amazing things and amazing recovery. If you had the opportunity to talk to her, you’d see an incredible attitude for going through an awful lot,” said the bill’s co-sponsor Jerry Stevenson (R-Layton).

HB47, also called Sarah’s Bill, would let a judge deny bail and hold them until trial. The bill would allow the court to hold DUI suspects if investigators have obtained “substantial evidence to support the charge” that the person would be a danger to the community if released.

Senator Luz Escamilla spoke in support of the bill, by sharing her family’s story. Six years ago two of her nephews were killed as an impaired driver lost control and hit the family.

“To see the bodies of two little babies lying there while the parents wore blood trying to grasp what this situation – you can only imagine how cruel it was and what it does to the family and what it continues to do,” said Escamilla (D-Salt Lake City).

But she said it was more difficult to deal with the criminal justice system. She says the driver bailed out, and there was no sense of justice.

She says this bill sends the right message.

The vote in the Senate was unanimous.

“Such courage and such strength, to be able to fight back from the challenges you’ve had,” said Senate President Stuart Adams as senators applauded the Freis after the vote.

It has one more reading before going to the governor.

Sarah’s story was recently profiled for Heart of Utah. You can see more here.