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Published April 10, 2013, 03:23 PM

ND Senate OKs bill to strengthen DUI penalties

The North Dakota Senate has unanimously approved a bill that significantly strengthens the state's DUI law. The bill doubles the fines and jail time for drinking and driving.

The North Dakota Senate has unanimously approved a bill that significantly strengthens the state's DUI law. The bill doubles the fines and jail time for drinking and driving.

The minimum for being arrested for driving drunk with a blood alcohol level higher than 0.18 - - would be two days in jail. The bill also creates a vehicular homicide statute. It requires manditory participation in the 24/7 sobriety program for DUI offenders. Senator Kelly Armstrong says with last year's DUI stats this bill will create 15,000 days in county jails and have 2,500 people using the 24/7 program.

Armstrong: "This bill realizes the constraints in our growing communities and over capacity county jails. This is a comprehensive approach and significant change in how we adjudicate DUI's in ND."

The bill also includes 360-thousand dollars for drinking and driving education.

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