In an effort to reduce the tragic consequences of drunk driving and the lasting effects of this crippling behavior, Representative Les Mason, R-McPherson, has introduced Mija’s Law in honor of Mija Stockman.

In an effort to reduce the tragic consequences of drunk driving and the lasting effects of this crippling behavior, Representative Les Mason, R-McPherson, has introduced Mija’s Law in honor of Mija Stockman.
Stockman was driving home from work on Dec. 20, 2013, when she was struck by a drunk driver. The driver had a blood alcohol level of .18 three hours after the accident.
Stockman was taken to the hospital with a traumatic brain injury along with severe physical trauma. Almost a year since the accident, Stockman still has little mobility on her left side and is undergoing physical therapy in Gardner, hundreds of miles from home.
When Stockman returns home, she will have to be under the care of a 24-hour nurse.
The driver, Jeffery Paul Davis, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery while DUI. This was the California resident’s third DUI. Unfortunately, under the law and sentencing grid, the driver only received 23 months, and with good behavior could get five months fewer.
“This is an outrage that a mother of three can be disabled for life and the drunk driver may only have to spend a year and a half in jail,” Mason said.
During the sentencing, several of the family members made statements to the judge.
“It was a selfish and dangerous decision you had made multiple times. I cannot forgive you causing so much pain and suffering,” said Mija’s mother, Kathy.
Stockman, in a wheelchair, was joined by her mom, husband and three children.
“Today I’ve begun the process of pre-filing a bill for the 2015 Legislative Session to revamp how multiple DUI offenders are sentenced when they destroy people’s lives with their reckless actions,” Mason said.
Mason’s bill opens up the part of the DUI law that deals with great bodily harm or disfigurement when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It would increase the severity level of the felony on the sentencing grid, requiring a longer prison sentence upon conviction.
Representative Steven Johnson, R-Assaria, has joined Representative Les Mason as a co-sponsor of the pre-filed legislation.
“I am pleased to join with Representative Mason on Mija’s Law,” Johnson said. “Multiple DUI offenders who severely injure people absolutely should not be eligible for release from prison after only a year and a half.”
Mason serves the 73rd District. He and his wife Kala have three grown children and five grandchildren. Mason serves on the Taxation and Transportation Committees.
The 73rd District includes McPherson, Windom, Marquette, Galva, Canton, Roxbury and Inman.