Wrongful Entrustment

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COLUMBUS - State Representative Lorraine M. Fende (D-Willowick) introduced legislation that will increase the penalty for those vehicle owners who entrust their vehicle to a driver charged with OVI and results in the death of a third party.

Under the current wrongful entrustment law, a person who entrusts their vehicle to an OVI offender can get a maximum penalty of $1,000.00 fine, 6 months in jail and impounding of their vehicle. The penalty remains the same irrespective of the consequences resulting from violator of ORC 4511.19 (OVI) injuring or killing another person.

The bill, if enacted, will increase the penalty to a 5th degree felony which if found guilty, the offender will face a penalty of $2,500.00 fine and/or 6-12 months in jail.

"There is no excuse for an individual to hand over their keys to someone that is intoxicated," said Rep. Fende. "When that act results in the death of an innocent bystander, we must have stronger penalties for those individuals that show such little regard for their fellow Ohioans."