Tougher DUI Laws Passed in North Dakota - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Tougher DUI Laws Passed in North Dakota

Posted:

The North Dakota legislature has overhauled the state's DUI law.

The bill got it's final approval today.

It doubles jail time for repeat offenders and in some cases triples fines.

As Donnell Preskey reports, the final bill is not as tough as what was initially proposed but is still significantly stronger than current law.

With a unanimous vote, the Senate gave the final approval to a bill that significantly increases the penalties for driving drunk, cracking down hardest on repeat offenders.

Kim Koppelman: "It's a monumental day because we've passed the toughest drunk driving reform in memory."

Lawmakers this session were compelled by two horrific crashes--one that killed an entire family on I-94, another killing two brothers as they slept in their tent at Lake Metigoshe.

Drunk drivers were responsible in both crashes.

Koppelman "It sends message that North Dakota is no longer going to be a state that tolerates drinking and driving."

"While the bill increases jail time significantly, some lawmakers say the law isn't tough enough on the first time offenders."

Gruchella: Jail time is the equalizer, for some people, $1,000 is a big fine, for others its minimal. But no one wants to sit in jail."

Ed Gruchella was a sponsor of a separate DUI bill that was defeated earlier this session.

His proposal called to lock up first time offenders for 30 days.

Gruchella: "When I started law enforcement 35 years ago, it was a class B misdemeanor. the same as it is in this bill."

However, if a drunk driver's blood alcohol level is double the legal limit, the penalty increases, carrying a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 days in jail.

It's one of the new things this DUI law does, including creating four new felonies.

Armstrong: "We created a vehicular homicide statute, 2nd offense with a minor is a Felony, no longer is an injury a misdemeanor it's a felony right away and all have significant mandatory minimum jail terms. And moved felony to 4th level instead of 5th."

DUI's involving an injury will spend at least 1 year in prison, crashes causing death, at least 3 years.

Armstrong: "For your serious DUI offenders there is no get out of jail free card anymore."

The bill also requires repeat DUI offenders to be part of the 24/7 sobriety program for one year.

Senator Armstrong is also a defense attorney in Dickinson.

He says he the new law could result in 15,000 more days in jail each year.

However he says he believes over time, he believes this law could result in fewer DUI arrests and convictions.

  • HealthMore>>

  • Technology group to decide Cover Oregon's future

    Technology group to decide Cover Oregon's future

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:35 AM EDT2014-04-24 06:35:57 GMT
    A technology committee is poised to make a final recommendation for the future of Cover Oregon's troubled health insurance exchange.
    After weeks of deliberation, a committee is poised to make a final recommendation Thursday on what to do with Oregon's botched health insurance exchange portal.
  • Vermont leading US in GMO labeling campaign

    Vermont leading US in GMO labeling campaign

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:04 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:04:18 GMT
    Vermont could likely be the first state in the country to require labels on genetically modified foods, under a bill approved by both legislative chambers and favored by the governor.
    Vermont could likely be the first state in the country to require labels on genetically modified foods, under a bill approved by both legislative chambers and favored by the governor.
  • Splashy plan for pool in NYC's East River unveiled

    Splashy plan for pool in NYC's East River unveiled

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:24 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:24:37 GMT
    Forget Jones Beach or the Jersey Shore. A design team says New York's East River could soon be the place for summer fun.
    Forget schlepping to Jones Beach or down the Jersey Shore. A Brooklyn design team said Tuesday that New York's East River could be the next great place for a summer swim.
Quick Clicks
Closings/Delays
View list
Calendar
What's happening?
Lottery Results
Feeling lucky?
Viewer Photos
Submit yours!
Road Report
Current conditions
TV Listings
See what's on
Gas Prices
Check near you
E-Mail Newsletter
Signup now

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
loading...
Powered by WorldNow
General information or questions:
kxinfo@kxnet.com

News:
Bismarck:
Phone: 701-223-9197
News Fax: 701-223-1985

News:
Minot:
Phone: 701-852-2104
News Fax: 701-838-1050
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KXNET. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.