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Published April 02, 2013, 06:24 PM

Weakened North Dakota DUI bill moving through legislature

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- A bill putting more teeth into drunk driving laws is moving through the legislature, but it's been weakened.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- A bill putting more teeth into drunk driving laws

is moving through the legislature, but it's been weakened.

The bill doubles the fines and jail time of the current DUI law, but the penalties were much harsher when the bill was introduced. For example, a first offense was a minimum of 4 days in jail, now it's 2 days - but that's only if a drivers' blood alcohol limit is over .18. A second offense remains a misdemeanor to avoid putting a 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 3 years in prison. An intoxicated driver who causes injury to a person faces 1 year in jail for first offense.

State Senator Kelly Armstrong - (R) Dickinson: "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."

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

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