Local News

DWI Task Force Wants to Put the Lock on Repeat Offenders

Posted February 25, 1999

— North Carolina is positioning itself as one of toughest states in the country when it comes to drunk driving. Friday, Governor Hunt's DWI task force issued its final recommendations for tougher laws.

The goal is to make the roads safer for everyone. The task force is making three major recommendations.

The first recommendation is to lower the Blood Alcohol Concentration to .04 for the second offense and to zero for future offenses.

The second recommendation would require an interlock device for offenders with a BAC of .16 or above; the interlock device prevents the car from starting if the driver has any alcohol on his or her breath.

The third recommendation would prohibit all open containers of alcohol in cars.

Lieutenant Governor Dennis Wicker believes lawmakers will approve the recommendations.

"We have the spectrum from victims' rights groups, to law enforcement, to the beer and wine industry and they've all come together and formed a consensus on these recommendations," Wicker says. "I think that carries a lot of weight with theGeneral Assemblyand with the people of this state."

Only one state, Maine, has lowered the BAC for repeat offenders. Lawmakers in that state say the law has decreased the number of fatal crashes involving repeat offenders by 25 percent.

The General Assembly is expected to vote on these recommendations by the end of this session.

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