Drunk Driving Offenses
The State House of Representatives passed a bill that supporters say will help keep drunk drivers off the road. Representative Peggy Gibson says House Bill 1039 allows prosecutors to appropriately prosecute defenders for multiple DUI offenses. She says it pertains to cases where those offenses occur over a short period of time and there was no conviction for the first offense prior to the second offense.
"An example of this would be an individual who was arrested on January 25th for a DUI first offense," Gibson says. "He was bonded, and let out of jail, got back in his car, drove drunk again on January 26th and received another DUI. Under current statute the prosecutor is unable to charge the second offense DUI because there's been no conviction for the first."
Opponents say there is a case in the South Dakota Supreme Court pertaining to this law, and the legislature should wait to act. The bill passed the House by a vote of 49 to 20.
By Jenifer Jones
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