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New bill would require DUI offenders to complete victim impact program

A Missouri state representative this week filed a bill that would require DUI offenders to participate in a victim impact panel.

Representative Mike Kelley wants DUI offenders to better understand the effects of driving while impaired.

Kelley filed legislation to create Toby’s law, named in memory of Tobias Olsen, who was killed along with his mother, Jean, by a drunk driver in 2007 in Cole Co.

ABC 17 News has been following the case for years, and reported in July that Larry Welch, the man who was convicted of hitting and killing the Olsens, would serve his full sentence.

Earlier this year, a Cole Co. judge attempted to reduce his sentence from 20 years to 7, something that the family and the Cole Co. prosecutor fought to stop.

Kelley said his assistant, Johanna Henry, Toby’s sister and also crash survivor, has been a strong advocate of victim impact panels.

Kelley said the victim impact panels create an additional level of empathy and understanding with offenders that will “hopefully change their thinking and behavior, and prevent future offenses from occurring.”

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