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“Debra’s Law” would crack down on DUI offenders

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma lawmaker wants to get tougher on DUI offenders. Specifically, those who are not even legally old enough to drink.

A newly proposed law is close to the heart of one metro family who lost their mother to a drunk driving collision.

"It's so surreal to know that you can't get them back," Melanie Berry cried.

Even two years later, the pain of losing her mother has not let up.

On Aug. 30, 2013,  Debra Reed, 58, was killed while driving home from work. Her daughter, Melanie Berry, remembers the phone call.

"I heard my sister on the other line and she didn't get any words out, and I said Mom's dead, isn't she, and she was," Melanie said.

Deputies say Debra was hit by a 20-year-old woman, who authorities say had a blood alcohol level of more than two times the legal limit.

Even though she was not old enough to be drinking it was her second DUI offense.

"This is something that should not be happening," Rep. John Enns said.

Rep. Enns wants to keep tragedies like this from happening. If an underage drinker is caught behind the wheel, he wants their license stripped away until he or she turns 21.

"This is something that needs to be enacted because I think it will save lives," Rep. Enns said.

He is not stopping there. Under another part of his bill, anyone caught drinking and driving would get “DUI” stamped on their driver's license.

"This precludes you from buying any alcohol for three years," Rep. Enns said.

Some believe the bill is too harsh for first time offenders, but Rep. Enns responds to that by saying… "Well, you know, that's a mistake that they had a choice in.”

A choice Melanie says her mother never had.

"My mom was one victim, but there are hundreds of victims every year," Melanie said.

Representative Enns bill is expected to be heard by the Public Safety Committee next week.

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