News Flash


Posted on: June 27, 2023

Hutto Police sergeant actively involved in holding drunk drivers accountable

Bellenir MADD edit

Hutto Police Department Professional Standards Sergeant Joshua Bellenir helped lobby for legislation known as “Bentley’s Law,” which holds drunk drivers even more accountable in fatal crashes. 

Sgt. Bellenir is a voluntary board member in the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). As a Texas certified instructor for standardized field sobriety testing, Sgt. Bellenir was heavily involved in MADD’s efforts to lobby the Texas legislature to pass House Bill 393, also known as Bentley’s Law.

The law holds drunk drivers involved in fatality crashes financially responsible to any minor children left behind. Offenders must pay restitution in the form of monthly child support beginning one year after being released from prison and continue until the youngest surviving child reaches the age of 18. 

“The Hutto Police Department has always prioritized the safety of our roadways, including DWI enforcement,” Sgt. Bellenir said. “The training Hutto officers receive for impaired driving prevention and enforcement is rigorous and comprehensive, resulting in numerous Hutto officers being recognized for their enforcement efforts by MADD the last two years. We are proud of the continued efforts of the women and men of the Hutto Police Department and their commitment to maintaining the safety of our community. Bentley’s Law is intended to deter those who are impaired or intoxicated from ever operating a motor vehicle, ultimately saving lives.”

“Too often, offenders are able to move on with their lives even after killing someone, while victims and survivors are reminded every day of their loss,” MADD said in a statement. “The idea behind Bentley’s Law is to both provide a sense of justice to victims and survivors, and to make sure offenders are reminded of the heartbreak they caused by making the choice to drive impaired.”

The bipartisan legislation unanimously passed through the Texas House of Representatives by a 142-0 vote. In early June, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill into law, set to be effective beginning September 1, 2023. 

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