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Summary: HB 517 makes individuals convicted of an intoxication offense and serving a sentence of 25 years or more, ineligible for parole until the individual's actual calendar time served equals one half of the sentence or 30 calendar years, whichever is less. Additionally, HB 517 prohibits the release to mandatory supervision of an inmate who is serving a sentence for, or who has been previously convicted of an intoxication or alcoholic beverage offense for which the inmate received a sentence of 25 years or more.
Analysis: A recent study showed that a repeat offender relating to intoxication felonies serves 10 to 15 percent of required time before becoming eligible for parole. HB 517 seeks to deter these offenses by requiring that they serve a greater portion of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole. We agree that egregious intoxication offenses and repeated intoxication offenses should result in the offender serving more than 10 to 15 percent of a jail sentence.