CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — Unborn children will soon be recognized as distinct victims in DUI crashes that cause serious bodily injury, or death in West Virginia.
The new bill, called Liam’s Law, was signed by Gov. Jim Justice (R) on Wednesday and will take effect 90 days from its passage, on June 9.
It clarifies that in cases where a pregnant woman dies or is seriously injured during a crash where the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the woman and her fetus or embryo are separate and distinct victims.
The clarification that in those incidents, there are two victims, not one will apply when establishing criminal penalties.
It was co-sponsored by local delegates Adam Burkhammer (R, Lewis), Laura Kimble (R, Harrison) and Carl Martin (R, Upshur).
The House of Delegates and the State Senate both passed the measure unanimously.