State lawmakers want to toughen the penalties for DWI offenders

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C.-- Earlier this week lawmakers in North Carolina approved two bills that would make life a little more difficult for those convicted of driving while impaired.

House Bill 40 would move the charge for a habitual impaired driving charge from three previous driving while impaired convictions within a 10 year period, to two convictions.

Some lawmakers say this bill could put close to 180 extra people in jail within two years.

House Bill 31 would allow prosecutors to file a habitual DWI charge against anyone previously convicted on such a charge, regardless of how long ago the earlier conviction occurred.

House Bill 31 is co-sponsor by Rep. Pat Hurley from Randolph County. Hurley says the state needs to adopt a zero tolerance policy for DWI offenders and this could make those convicted of the charge think twice about what they're doing.

"They don't realize what it does to their brains, and everything else. There is a law on the books that says if you don't have DWI convictions for 10 years you could possibly get your license back," Hurley said.

However, some critics say the bill is too tough and may infringe on someone who is trying to get their life back on the right track.

The Senate is expected to vote on both bills by the end of the week. Hurley says she pushing to make them laws by July 1st.


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