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Published on Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What made it into the final DUI bill?

The legislature agreed to a final version of the DUI legislation Thursday afternoon. SB 5912 was scaled down quite a bit from the original version and there are no longer additions to jail sentences or longer jail times for repeat offenders. What remains is an option for a 6 month 24/7 sobriety monitoring program as part of the sentence as an alternative to incarceration. This program will be administered by the county sheriff or a local police chief. A pilot program will begin this summer consisting of two counties and three cities, and other stakeholders charged with developing protocols for electronic alcohol and drug monitoring for offenders 24 hours a day.

There is a mandatory arrest component for anyone who receives a DUI and has a prior conviction. An ignition interlock device must be installed as a pretrial condition. The bill also adds driving the wrong way or having a passenger under 16 years old to what a court can consider in sentencing. The Department of Corrections will now have felony supervision for those convicted of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and felony DUI.

With unanimous votes in both houses, the bill now goes to the Governor for a signature. The bill will become effective 90 days later except for the part that allows cities or counties the option to establish a 24/7 sobriety monitoring program. That portion becomes effective January of 2014.

Legislators said they look forward to the next legislative session and continuing to work on tougher DUI legislation.

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