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Published March 29, 2013, 09:03 PM

House defeats DUI bill

The North Dakota House defeated one of the proposals to strengthen the state's DUI laws. Representatives voted 28-63 to kill 2240, the Senate's version of the DUI bill.

The North Dakota House defeated one of the proposals to strengthen the state's DUI laws. Representatives voted 28-63 to kill 2240, the Senate's version of the DUI bill.

The House previously passed a bill addressing increased penalties for drinking and driving. Representative Robin Weisz says there is no need for two similar bills. The bills were brought forward after two separate alcohol-related crashes last summer. Representative Ed Gruchella says he's disappointed with how the bills have been changed since they were introduced. He says penalties are now "watered down."

Gruchella,(D) Fargo: "When alcohol-related fatality crashes happened last year the victims' families worked hard with legislators to stiffen penalties. It is sad that these efforts were mostly stifled. The only thing that will show that North Dakota is serious about doing something to curb drunk driving are stiff up front penalties including jail time and monetary fines on a first offense."

Gruchella says the reason penalties were reduced was because of the costs associated with enforcement. Another DUI bill is still being worked on in the Senate.

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