Cy Creek Key Club brings 'Lilly's Law' to Austin
April 7, 2009 — The Cypress Creek High School Key Club is traveling to the State Capitol today with a plan to make sure people can feel protected from drunk drivers.
Eleven current and future Cypress Creek Key Club officers, led by government teacher and sponsor Jack Crook, will present a petition entitled “Lilly’s Law” to the Texas House of Representatives today.
In memory of Nicole “Lillyh” Lalime, a 13-year-old Bleyl Middle School student who was killed by a drunk driver on Dec. 16, 2008, the Key Club’s petition states that people who commit a fatal accident under the influence of alcohol be given a mandatory 15-year sentence and be charged with murder by depraved indifference.
The bill would supplement an existing bill proposed by District 7 State Sen. Dan Patrick, which requires those convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) to breathe into an ignition interrupt system attached to their vehicles.
“The bill that Sen. Patrick is proposing is preventive, and our bill completes it in that it has a stiff penalty for those convicted of a fatal DWI,” said Crook, whose wife, Barbara, is the principal at Bleyl. “If someone has three or four DWI convictions and has an ignition interrupt on his car, there’s no preventing him from driving to a 7-11 sober, buying alcohol, driving home while drinking and killing someone.
“The way the law stands now, vehicular manslaughter is a 2- to 10-year sentence. You probably get sentenced for five years and get out in three on probation, and we feel like that’s a travesty.”
Crook said he was compelled to act after meeting the Lalime family at Texas Children’s Hospital on the night of Lillyh’s accident. He went home that night and began writing the petition.
“I knew I had to do something at the high school level because Lillyh would’ve been coming to Cypress Creek the following year,” he said. “With my wife’s permission I started the petition at Cy Creek.”
The Key Club has also supported the Lalime family in other ways. It raised more than $4,000 through a fund set up through the Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union.
Although Lalime had recently begun using an "H" in the spelling of her first name, Crook said the Key Club decided to spell her name "Lilly" in the petition because of the more common spelling.
Cypress Creek principal Jim Wells and Barbara Crook will also join the Key Club during their trip to the State Capitol.