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City leaders aiming to make stricter penalties for stunt drivers

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BATON ROUGE - City leaders fed up with stunt driving voted at the Metro Council meeting Wednesday for stricter punishments for stunt drivers. 

It was all quiet in the Siegen Village parking lot, but tire marks are evidence of what took place last weekend. 

“The feedback we got from law enforcement was we need, additional tools to deter this activity,” explained District 3 councilman Rowdy Gaudet.

Those additional tools showed up on Wednesday's East Baton Rouge Metro Council agenda as an amendment to make stricter laws for stunt driving.

“I can say that we have certain participants on our radar,” said L’Jean Mckneely, the public information officer for the Baton Rouge Police Department. 

Participants like 23-year-old Malik Williams, who police arrested last Friday after the Siegen Village gathering. Arrest documents show this wasn't his first involvement in stunt driving. He admitted to also being involved in shutting down traffic on College Drive after the Garth Brooks concert.

Leaders know it's the same people, which is why they want to make the consequences harsher. 

“We're increasing the penalties,” Gaudet said. “There's also a provision that you could face jail time."

The new ordinance increases jail time from anywhere from 10 days to 3 months and increases the fine from $500 to $1,000 for first time offenders. 

“And you could have your driver's license suspended,” Gaudet said. 

WBRZ asked what makes police think that amending this ordinance is going to actually have an effect.

“It's holding those accountable. We feel that if we're increasing the fines, so you're spending more money, suspending your license, and then we're towing your car. We're holding you accountable,” McKneely said. 

And not just holding the drivers accountable, this ordinance holds spectators accountable as well. 

“We're holding you accountable. We feel you shouldn't be there, so it's in your best interest not to be there because if you are you will be cited and you will have a high fine,” McKneely said.


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