DUI Bill Nears Final Hurdle

DUI Bill Nears Final Hurdle

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- State lawmakers have pushed a bill to strengthen restrictions on repeat drunk drivers past its penultimate hurdle -- leaving only Gov. Jon Huntsman's signature to make it law.

Utah already makes it illegal for people with a previous DUI conviction to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system for two years. But the bill by Sen. Carlene Walker, R-Cottonwood Heights, extends the period of time for zero-tolerance enforcement to five years on a second offense and a lifetime alcohol restriction on a third offense, which is considered a felony.

The bill also institutes a five-year alcohol restriction on drivers who refuse a Breathalyzer or blood test, whether they are criminally charged with a DUI or not.

Senators and representatives approved the measure without a single opposing vote.

The only opposition to the measure came from the American Beverage Institute, which argued the law would create an unfair legal system with different standards for different people.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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