Leach, Rodriguez introduce ‘Lauren and CJ’s Law’ to increase sentence for intoxicated-manslaughter convictions

As Lauren and CJ Davis crossed the street to attend a Dallas Mavericks game in November 2015, an impaired driver hit the couple. CJ died at the scene, and Lauren was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The couple’s deaths are included in a running tally of Texas roadway deaths that goes back to Nov. 7, 2000, the last day there were no roadway deaths in the state, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Earlier this month, Texas state Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) introduced a bill he co-sponsored with Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Houston), which they named “Lauren and CJ’s Law.” The bill increases the minimum sentence for intoxicated-manslaughter convictions to five years.

The requirements for community supervision, mandatory supervision and parole for offenders also changes.

“We heard powerful and heartbreaking testimony from the parents of Lauren and CJ Davis, who were both struck and killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street on the way to a Dallas Mavericks game,” said Leach. “This family waited three and a half long years before any sentence would be handed down and the drunk driver, who had previous DWIs, would only serve 120 days in county jail. When a life is lost due to another’s reckless, dangerous and illegal behavior, we must ensure that the punishment fits the crime, and that justice is served.”

Lauren and CJ did achieve something special with their deaths, though – the couple were both organ donors and saved others’ lives, said Tammy Benthall, Lauren’s mother. Benthall shares her story at Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in the hopes that she can help other families avoid the pain she lives with.

“I just want to be a better person because of them and let other people know that they had a mission,” said Benthall.

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