HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -A hit-and-run driver who took a man’s life will not get an extended sentence under a new state law because a judge says he’s not a danger to the public.
Jeremy Lee struck and killed Doctor Eugene Chin on Oahu's North Shore last year.
After fleeing the scene, Lee was seen stumbling drunkenly at a gas station, as captured on surveillance video.
Under “Kaulana’s Law,” Lee could have been the first in the state to see his prison term doubled to a max of 20 years if he was found to be a danger to the public.
But the judge said his previous DUI and four speeding tickets did not meet that threshold.
The father of hit-and-run victim Kaulana Werner, whom the law was named after, was as disappointed as Doctor Chin’s family.
“I know the hurt this family is going through,” Ed Werner said.
“And we don’t want any more families to go through this hurt. Besides the laws, we want to spread the word, to not drink and drive. Keep your friends from drinking and driving when they go out. Make better choices. No other family wants to lose their father or their son,” daughter of the victim Lisa Hyatt said.
Instead of 20 years, Lee could face up to 10 years for negligent homicide when he’s sentenced in December.