Bills aim to strengthen NC's DWI laws - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Bills aim to strengthen NC's DWI laws

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina lawmakers want to toughen drunk driving laws so more people convicted can't drive again unless they've totally abstained from alcohol.

The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday in favor of more restrictions on DWI offenders whose blood-alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit or higher.

First-time offenders currently can receive limited driving privileges, mostly for three years. But their vehicles must include equipment requiring them to blow into a device, known as interlock, to start them.

The current limit is 0.04 percent. The bill filed by Rep. Darren Jackson of Raleigh says drivers can't have any alcohol in their systems to drive. People who can't blow into the device and find a way to drive would face a misdemeanor.

Zero-tolerance limits already apply to worse offenders.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Another new bill making its way through the General Assembly would require an interlock device for anyone convicted of driving while impaired.

It would also be required for anyone who refuses a chemical analysis.

An interlock system would be installed on every vehicle that the person might drive.

Representative Jackson has also introduced legislation that would make it a crime to operate an ambulance or law enforcement vehicle while consuming alcohol or having any alcohol in the driver's body.

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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