Vehicular homicide bill ‘Lily’s Law’ signed by Gov. Beshear
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - After the tragic death of her sister in a DUI crash, Zoe Fairfield can say she kept her promise.
“I hope that it can help save somebody that doesn’t really need to die,” Zoe said in an exclusive WAVE Troubleshooter investigation in 2021.
Now, fast forward to Monday.
Zoe stood at a lectern at the Kentucky Capitol for the signing of House Bill 262, also known as Lily’s Law.
“Being here today I feel like I can really honor her,” Zoe said of Lily. “And it makes me feel a lot better about losing that part of her.”
Lily was 16 years old when she died in November 2021, when Theresa Devine slammed her car into their car in Oldham County. Zoe was driving her sister to school at the time.
Lily died instantly, while Zoe broke her back.
Police said Devine was driving while high on opioids.
WAVE Troubleshooters uncovered that Devine had been arrested for driving severely impaired just three days before the crash that killed Lily.
Investigation showed that despite the detailed DUI report by the officer with a number of supporting details and 13 prior arrests Devine was able to walk away with no bond and not seeing a judge.
Zoe, her father, Mark, and their attorney, Danielle Blandford lobbied for change. The new bill, sponsored by three Republicans with a bi-partisan passing, makes killing someone while driving impaired, an automatic vehicular homicide charge. It also raises the amount of time a person must be held in jail for a DUI arrest to six hours.
“This is a first step,” Mark Fairfield, Zoe’s father said. “I think we want to protect our kids and I think you all are going to help us do that.”
The change got a personal thank you from Governor Andy Beshear.
“Your actions, your willingness to come forward and share your story and your trauma not only protect kids all across Kentucky that will be on the roads, it will protect my kids,” Beshear said. “For that, I’m really grateful.”
In that interview a year and a half ago, Zoe was asked what her sister would think of her mission to change the laws.
Her answer, undoubtable now.
“I just know that she would say that she’s proud,” Zoe said.
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