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.

  • Bismarck/Mandan NewsMore>>

  • Authorities Search for Man Last Seen in Killdeer Friday

    Authorities Search for Man Last Seen in Killdeer Friday

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:44 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:44:10 GMT
    The Dunn County Sheriff's Department is looking for a man missing since Friday afternoon.
    The Dunn County Sheriff's Department is looking for a man missing since Friday afternoon.
  • ND Produces 1 Million Barrels a Day

    ND Produces 1 Million Barrels a Day

    Wednesday, June 18 2014 8:56 AM EDT2014-06-18 12:56:03 GMT
    The North Dakota Oil and Gas Division reports that oil companies are producing one million barrels of oil per day.
    The North Dakota Oil and Gas Division reports that oil companies are producing one million barrels of oil per day.
  • Train Delays on the Tracks Improving for Elevators

    Train Delays on the Tracks Improving for Elevators

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:04:37 GMT
    It's been an ongoing issue in the ag industry for months.Train Delays.In fact, grain elevators are more than 3-thousand cars behind schedule.Ag Reporter Sarah Heinrich checks in on the situation to see if wait times are improving. It's a scene that's been the same for months.Empty tracks.(Josh Mardikian / South Central Grain, Sterling) "I don't think we got beyond 120 days but we were close to 4 months late at one point."Josh Mardikian manages South Central Grain in Sterling.Mardikian ...
    It's been an ongoing issue in the ag industry for months.Train Delays.In fact, grain elevators are more than 3-thousand cars behind schedule.Ag Reporter Sarah Heinrich checks in on the situation to see if wait times are improving. It's a scene that's been the same for months.Empty tracks.(Josh Mardikian / South Central Grain, Sterling) "I don't think we got beyond 120 days but we were close to 4 months late at one point."Josh Mardikian manages South Central Grain in Sterling.Mardikian ...
  • PoliticalMore>>

  • House leaders abandon border bill

    House leaders abandon border bill

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:32 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:32:43 GMT
    A divided House of Representatives is moving forward on a bill to address the immigration crisis on the southern border after GOP leaders made concessions to win conservative support.
    Short on votes, House Republicans abruptly abandoned a bill Thursday to address the immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border after last-minute maneuvering failed to lock down conservative support. An hour later, they...
  • USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspections

    USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspections

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:32 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:32:38 GMT
    The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year.
    The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year.
  • GOP's Cochran seeks voters at 'Giant Houseparty'

    GOP's Cochran seeks voters at 'Giant Houseparty'

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:28:17 GMT
    For a half-hour or so, Republican Sen. Thad Cochran will be in the same place and talk to the same crowd as Democratic rival Travis Childers. And it might just be the only time during this year's campaign...
    Republican Sen. Thad Cochran said Thursday that he's asking for the support of Mississippi voters in November "no matter your skin color, or how much money you have."
  • HealthMore>>

  • USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspections

    USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspections

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:32 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:32:38 GMT
    The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year.
    The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year.
  • Driving high questioned on busy day in Congress

    Driving high questioned on busy day in Congress

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:16 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:16:08 GMT
    Amid all the debates on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are also wondering whether driving cars after smoking marijuana is dangerous.
    Amid all the debates on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are also wondering whether driving cars after smoking marijuana is dangerous.
  • W. Africa Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths

    W. Africa Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:15 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:15:35 GMT
    The president of Sierra Leone has declared a public health emergency as the Ebola crisis deepens across West Africa.
    Security forces went house-to-house looking for Ebola patients and others exposed to the disease Thursday in Sierra Leone's capital as the death toll from the worst recorded outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West...
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.