A deadly crash that shut down Desert Inn Road for several hours early Wednesday morning may have triggered tougher DUI penalties in Clark County.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson says beginning in November offenders who get busted drinking and driving will need to see what happens to victims of DUI crashes.
8 News NOW has learned that the suspect in the deadly crash, 24-year-old Hans Bludau, has a history of DUI. He took a no-contest plea to DUI charges in June and finished his sentence in September.
The sentence included a $585 fine, 59 hours of community service, two days in custody, DUI school and a victim impact panel.
Wolfson says he doesn’t think the impact panel is enough.
“I don’t think we are doing enough in this community to deter impaired drivers,” he said.
Wolfson said hours after the crash, he met with many criminal justice partners in the Las Vegas valley to increase DUI penalties.
Beginning in November, DUI offenders will be forced to spend hours at the coroner’s office where the bodies of crash victims are kept for autopsy.
It is like a scared-straight program to get DUI offenders to see the possible repercussions of their actions.
“That is going to have an impact,” Wolfson said, “I’m convinced it will.”
A spokesperson for Metro Police say DUI’s are down in their jurisdiction, but more penalties can further reduce these numbers.
In Metro’s jurisdiction, there have been 17 DUI-related deaths this year, fewer than half compared to this time last year or in 2011. DUI arrests are also down by more than 1,000.
“Any program that assists in drinking and driving is beneficial to the public,” Officer Larry Hatfield said.
Bludau also has a history of driving offenses ranging from speeding to distracted driving. However, he was able to have the moving violations changed to parking tickets in traffic court.
He is expected to be in court Friday.