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Associated Press, Published April 25 2013

ND lawmakers OK bill to strengthen DUI penalties

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Legislature has endorsed a bill aimed at strengthening penalties for drunken driving.

The Senate unanimously approved the bill Thursday. The House approved the bill 69-23 on Wednesday. The measure now goes to Gov. Jack Dalrymple.

Along with increased fines and other penalties, the measure would require jail time or community service work for first-time DUI offenders who have a blood alcohol content of 0.16 percent. That's twice the state's legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The bill also would require mandatory participation in the so-called 24/7 sobriety program for repeat offenders.

A second DUI arrest also would require a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail.

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