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Published January 14, 2013, 06:30 PM

Harsher DUI punishments are being proposed in North Dakota

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- There are some big bills in this year's North Dakota legislative session. It includes 2-different DUI laws, proposed by local representatives.

By: Andrea Hubbell, WDAY, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- There are some big bills in this year's North Dakota legislative session. It includes 2-different DUI laws, proposed by local representatives.

Consequences shape Mike Kaspari's day. And penalties dictate how busy he'll be.

Mike Kaspari/First Step Recovery: "That is probably the single most common that people come to a place like this."

Day in and day out, dealing with people who just didn't think.

Mike Kaspari: "The decision to do something dangerous like drive is a decision that they might not normally make."

But North Dakota is trying to get through to those who might make the same mistake of drinking and driving.

Mike Kaspari: "That experience is more than enough to keep them from getting it again."

Two local representatives don't quite agree. A new bill will be presented in Bismarck during this year's legislative session. It pushes for stiffer punishment for early offenders. But there's two sides.

With Koppelman's proposal, first time offenders are looking at a minimum four days behind bars. On the other side, Gruchalla suggest a much longer 30 days in jail.

Lt. Joel Vettel/Fargo Police: "We understand that the way to do that is not strictly through enforcement. We understand education is an extremely important part of the overall agenda. But part of that has to be enforcement and to have really strong enforcement you need good, strong penalties and deterrence to make sure that is happening."

If North Dakota adopts either bill, drivers will face much stiffer punishment....

Mike Kaspari: "I think ramping up addition consequences are things we have to take a look at."

And consequences that will push drivers to think.

We will continue to update you on both proposals, as they make their way through legislation.

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