Family of Oldham County 16-year-old killed in crash pushes to strengthen DUI laws

Emily Parkin

It was a horrific crash on a stretch of Highway 42 in Oldham County last November. Zoe Fairfield, 19, had her back was broken in 3 different places. Her sister, Lily, 16, was killed.”She was making plans what she wanted to do, where she wanted to go and that’s not going to happen and that’s heartbreaking to us,” father Mark Fairfield said.Determined their loss not be without purpose, the father-daughter duo are championing legislation that would strengthen DUI laws. Under Lily’s Law, longer jail stays would be mandated for first-time offenders (longer than the current four hours) and a third or subsequent DUI offense would be a felony charge.The wrong-way driver that hit the sisters that morning, Theresa Devine, was actually on her way to court to answer to DUI charge. She had a lengthy criminal record and multiple probation violations.”It doesn’t compute with me how the laws currently are not stringent enough to keep people off the street for at least a few hours. I don’t understand but, you know what, I’m going to,” Mark Fairfield said.In fact, Devine’s DUI in Louisville came just 3 days before that fatal crash in Oldham County. In a police report, LMPD officers say her eyes were glassy, her speech was slurred and she admitted to taking a narcotic.Even still, Devine didn’t stay in jail and she did not get a bond, due in part to Kentucky’s release laws.”Why was this woman’s risk low enough that she was let out the way she was? And what I think what we’ll find is there’s a flaw in the system,” the family’s attorney, Danielle Blandford said.Blandford is working with the family and has helped arrange a meeting with lawmakers next month in Frankfort to discuss Lily’s Law. They’ve begun this petition to garner support.”Instead of thinking my sister is gone I want to use that pain and hurt to drive it toward something that would honor her and make her proud,” Zoe Fairfield said.Mark Fairfield promises Lily’s Law will happen, “It doesn’t have to be fixed tomorrow but it’s going to be fixed.”In late November, Theresa Devine pleaded guilty to that Nov. 7 DUI, receiving 30 days conditionally. It means if she stays out of trouble for two years, she will never go to jail. She has not yet been charged in connection to the crash that killed Fairfield as police await toxicology reports.

It was a horrific crash on a stretch of Highway 42 in Oldham County last November. Zoe Fairfield, 19, had her back was broken in 3 different places. Her sister, Lily, 16, was killed.

“She was making plans what she wanted to do, where she wanted to go and that’s not going to happen and that’s heartbreaking to us,” father Mark Fairfield said.

Determined their loss not be without purpose, the father-daughter duo are championing legislation that would strengthen DUI laws. Under Lily’s Law, longer jail stays would be mandated for first-time offenders (longer than the current four hours) and a third or subsequent DUI offense would be a felony charge.

The wrong-way driver that hit the sisters that morning, Theresa Devine, was actually on her way to court to answer to DUI charge. She had a lengthy criminal record and multiple probation violations.

“It doesn’t compute with me how the laws currently are not stringent enough to keep people off the street for at least a few hours. I don’t understand but, you know what, I’m going to,” Mark Fairfield said.

In fact, Devine’s DUI in Louisville came just 3 days before that fatal crash in Oldham County. In a police report, LMPD officers say her eyes were glassy, her speech was slurred and she admitted to taking a narcotic.

Even still, Devine didn’t stay in jail and she did not get a bond, due in part to Kentucky’s release laws.

“Why was this woman’s risk low enough that she was let out the way she was? And what I think what we’ll find is there’s a flaw in the system,” the family’s attorney, Danielle Blandford said.

Blandford is working with the family and has helped arrange a meeting with lawmakers next month in Frankfort to discuss Lily’s Law. They’ve begun this petition to garner support.

“Instead of thinking my sister is gone I want to use that pain and hurt to drive it toward something that would honor her and make her proud,” Zoe Fairfield said.

Mark Fairfield promises Lily’s Law will happen, “It doesn’t have to be fixed tomorrow but it’s going to be fixed.”

In late November, Theresa Devine pleaded guilty to that Nov. 7 DUI, receiving 30 days conditionally. It means if she stays out of trouble for two years, she will never go to jail.

She has not yet been charged in connection to the crash that killed Fairfield as police await toxicology reports.

https://www.wlky.com/article/family-of-oldham-county-16-year-old-killed-in-crash-pushes-to-strengthen-dui-laws/39232408

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