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Published March 14, 2013, 05:06 PM

DUI bill is losing strength

(WDAY TV) -- There is concern tonight proposed bills to put more teeth into DUI laws in the state of North Dakota, are losing their punch.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

(WDAY TV) -- There is concern tonight proposed bills to put more teeth into DUI laws in the state of North Dakota, are losing their punch.

Two bills were drafted following two separate and horrifying fatal crashes last summer. In 1-crash, Arlene and Tom Deutcher lost their son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and a baby on the way.

Today, they made their 3rd appearance before lawmakers this session. The Deutschers are concerned with how the bill has changed. Senators are reworking one bill, to lessen impacts on jails, judges and prosecutors.

Sen. Kelly Armstrong says, "DUI's #1 criminal trial, if place mandatory minimum sentences see that 2-3 times higher. Court systems not equipped for that."

Tom Deutcher, victim of a drunk driver, says, "Issues of jail space and cost are only obstacles not reasons to weaken the law."

Rep. Ed Gruchalla says, "If we are going to make a difference, put up a firewall and make it a severe penalty up front."

The original laws peoposed required jail time for first time offenders.

A 3rd D-U-I would be a felony, not a misdemeanor. And fines and Penalties, ALL increased.

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