Tougher penalties for hit-and-run offenders proposed by Fianna Fáil

Wednesday 15 May 2013 16.55
Fianna Fáil's Timmy Dooley says increasing time limits for drug and alcohol testing would bring Ireland into line with other countries
Fianna Fáil's Timmy Dooley says increasing time limits for drug and alcohol testing would bring Ireland into line with other countries

The sister of a young man killed in a hit-and-run accident has backed Fianna Fáil proposals to impose tougher penalties on offenders.

A new draft Bill also seeks to extend the time allowed for drug and alcohol testing by gardaí.

Gemma O'Farrell's 23-year-old brother Shane died after being knocked off his bicycle near his home in Monaghan in August 2011.

When gardaí tracked down the driver the following day, they were unable to test him for drugs under existing time limits.

She was speaking at the launch of a Fianna Fáil Private Members' Bill outside Leinster House.

The party's transport spokesman Timmy Dooley said the current maximum sentence for leaving the scene of an accident was six months in prison.

Under the Fianna Fáil proposals, the offence would become indictable and could be prosecuted in the Circuit Court where a term of up to ten years could be imposed.

Increasing time limits for testing would bring Ireland into line with other jurisdictions, Mr Dooley said.

Ms O'Farrell said the man who killed her brother leaving the young law student to die at the side of the road had yet to serve a single day in jail.

The proposed changes would reflect the gravity of the offences, Ms O'Farrell added.