SAN ANTONIO -

Starting Sept. 1, the penalty for hit-and-run fatalities becomes equal to that of an intoxicated manslaughter charge: a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years.

A charge of failing to step and render aid also carries a harsher penalty: up to 10 years in prison.

The mother of 17-year-old Nathan Chavez said she still thinks about her son's death.

Nathan Chavez was struck by a vehicle on May 4, 2012.

The man responsible never stopped to render aid.

“Anger has not crossed my mind, but I do feel bad because I thought he had left my son to die,” said Chavez’s mother, Sandra Cruz. “My son was all alone.”

The suspect was caught and later charged with DWI, intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid.

Chavez’s case, like many others, have forced lawmakers to change.

“Unfortunately, what we did see was that after many crashes, people were fleeing the scene -- possibly due to the fact of their state of intoxication,” said San Antonio police spokesman Officer Javier Salazar.

"I like that they are trying to make a change in the law, but I would still appreciate it if they were more strict," Cruz said.