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Published April 25, 2013, 06:05 PM

North Dakota lawmakers unanimously vote to toughen up DUI penalties

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - If you're caught drinking and driving in North Dakota, you will be facing more jail time and stiffer fines. Lawmakers gave final approval to a DUI bill today.

By: WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - If you're caught drinking and driving in North Dakota, you will be facing more jail time and stiffer fines. Lawmakers gave final approval to a DUI bill today.

Two bills were introduced following two separate horrific crashes that killed an entire family on I-94 and two brothers at Lake Metigoshe. Drunk drivers were responsible in both crashes.

The bill doubles, and in some cases triples, the fines for DUI offenses. It also doubles jail time. More severe penalties are given to repeat offenders, or to those who are two times the legal limit.

The bill also creates four new felonies for driving drunk and causing death or injury, a second offense of driving with a minor and on a 4th offense.

Representative Kim Koppelman, (R) West Fargo: “This bill gets tough on drunk drivers in many ways. Starting with first offenders and ratcheting up consequences and penalties the more an offender offends. Sends message North Dakota is no longer going to be a state that tolerates drinking and driving."

Sen. Kelly Armstrong, (R) Dickinson: "The crimes involving injury are enhanced in this bill. We've created four new felonies in this bill. For your serious DUI offenders there is no get out of jail free card anymore.”

The Senate gave the bill got its final approval this morning with a unanimous vote of 44-0.

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