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Ole Miss Students Show Support For "The Rivers McGraw Act" For DUI Reform


Students gathered in the Circle on the Ole Miss campus yesterday to support Mississippi HB 1089, better known as The Rivers McGraw Act. The bill would notify the parents of a DUI recipient between the ages 18-21 in hopes that it will provide a support system to them in a time of need. Rivers McGraw was a student at Ole Miss, and just one day after receiving a DUI, he took his own life at the age of 20. His friends want to ensure that this won’t happen to anyone else, and this bill would provide support to those in McGraw’s situation. 
The bill would notify the parents of a DUI recipient between the ages 18-21 in hopes that it will provide a support system to them in a time of need. Rivers McGraw was a student at Ole Miss, and just one day after receiving a DUI, he took his own life at the age of 20. His friends want to ensure that this won’t happen to anyone else, and this bill would provide support to those in McGraw’s situation. 
“Rivers was one of my best friends, and I want this bill to help people that are in Rivers’ situation,” Brock Newman said. “I think he felt ashamed and he acted off an impulse. This will give parents a chance to intervene and give advice or help before they’re able to act on their own.”
Sterling Eaves, a junior at Ole Miss, organized the event and wanted to educate more people on the impact that HB 1089 can have. 
“Most DUI cases, people are bailed out by their friends, and this allows parents to be involved. When parents are involved, it gives the kids an escape, not from the consequences, but from feeling like their alone.” Eaves said. 
During his speech to the gathered crowd, Eaves lamented the fact that McGraw’s mother never got the chance to help her son through the difficulties he faced. 
“Mrs. McGraw was never made aware of [Rivers’] arrest and was never able to be the mom that all teens should wish they had,” Eaves said. 
The bill was passed through the Mississippi House of Representatives and is currently awaiting a vote in the Senate. Eaves urged lawmakers to pass the bill due to the support it has garnered within the student community. 
“Students support this bill, and Jackson needs to hear our voice. After witnessing this tragedy take place, it is clear that change needs to come to help our young adults lead productive lives.” Eaves said. “We, students at Ole Miss, will be the age group most affected by this bill, but if we support this piece of legislation how can any policymaker look as in the face and say that he or she disagrees.”
Eaves mentioned that the Chief of Police Association is opposed to the bill, but noted that they have not publicly stated why. 


Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com
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