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Arizona legislature pondering tough DUI-related proposals

Arizona's legislature has over the years made our state's drunk driving laws some of the toughest in the nation. Over at the Capitol building, lawmakers are considering several bills that will impact DUI laws if they are passed and signed.

House Bill 2243 is designed to reduce the number of wrong-way drivers on state highways. Violators would face a $500 fine and be required to attend traffic school. If a wrong-way driver was under the influence of alcohol, they could face a Class 5 felony and up to 18 months in prison.

The Republic reports that the bill has cleared the House and been approved by the Senate's Transportation, Technology and Judiciary committees. It is slated for a vote by the full Senate.

SB 1210 was introduced by a Sun City senator who wants drivers in motor vehicle accidents that result in serious injury or death to be required to submit to blood alcohol or drug tests if a police officer believes the driver caused the crash, or if the driver has been ticketed.

The bill is scheduled to be heard by the House's Judiciary and Public Safety committee.

Another bill under consideration in Phoenix is HB 2522, a proposal that boosts penalties for people who drive on a suspended or revoked driver's license. A Paradise Valley representative wants the licenses of those who violate the law suspended for a full decade -- twice the amount of time under current law.

The bill targets repeat offenders and those whose licenses were suspended for DUI and other offenses. The proposal has not yet been heard by the Senate’s Transportation and Technology Committee.

If these proposals become law, Arizona's already tough DUI penalties will be even stricter. Those facing drunk driving charges can speak with an attorney experienced in negotiating with prosecutors and in fighting DUI allegations in court.

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