Senate Makes Additional Changes to DUI Bill - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Senate Makes Additional Changes to DUI Bill

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Bismarck, ND -

There is support for stronger drinking and driving laws in North Dakota, but the option before lawmakers is not has stiff as was first proposed.

The Senate approved changes today to House Bill 1302 the only DUI proposal still alive.

The bill doubles the fines and jail time of the current DUI law.

However, the penalties were much harsher when the bill was introduced.

For example a first offense was a minimum of four days in jail, now it's 2 days and that's if a drivers' blood alcohol limit is over .18.

Senator Kelly Armstrong says they also decided to keep a second offense a B misdemeanor to avoid putting a huge burden on the court system.

The revised bill also creates a vehicular homicide statute.

If a person is killed in an alcohol related crash the penalty is a Felony with three years in prison.

An intoxicated driver who causes injury to a person faces 1 year in jail for first offense.

Senator Kelly Armstrong says, "your transportation committee felt that if you are going to choose to drink and drive we are going to treat your car as a loaded weapon. If you play Russian roulette and make it home then good,don't do it again. But if you injure someone, we are going to hold you accountable."

Armstrong says the need for more education kept coming up during the DUI hearings.

$360,000 has been added to fund the underage drinking prevention program.

Because the bill includes state dollars, the bill will go to the Senate Appropriations Committee before returning to be voted on by the full Senate.

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