- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Tweaks made to Neb. interlock law for DUI convicts
Question of the Day
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska motorists with a drunken-driving conviction could face a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony if they’re caught driving sober without a dashboard-mounted breath-testing device.
Lawmakers gave first-round approval Thursday to a bill that would reduce the penalty for a violation, as long as the driver hasn’t been drinking. Many people convicted of driving under the influence are allowed to use the ignition interlock devices as part of their sentence. The devices require drivers to blow into a sensor, and prevent vehicles from starting if a significant amount of alcohol is detected.
The measure is aimed at drivers in emergency situations, or who have to get to work in another vehicle when theirs won’t start. Supporters say the problem has surfaced in Omaha.
Violations would remain a felony for any drivers caught with a blood-alcohol concentration above .02.
“I think it’s far too harsh for someone to be driving, not drunk, (and face a felony) just because they don’t have an ignition interlock device in their vehicle,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber. “They could get two more DUIs and still not be a felon.”
Lawmakers expanded the use of ignition interlock devices with an overhaul of the state’s DUI laws in 2011, amid concerns that convicts were simply driving with suspended licenses. The law allows drivers with the devices to travel to work, school, treatment, probation, medical appointments and community service.
Drivers who tamper with the devices can face a felony charge. They can also face charges for going to unapproved destinations.
Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha, chairman of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, said the measure strikes a balance between punishing offenders and giving consideration to special situations.
The bill advanced on 25-0 vote. Two additional votes are required before it’s sent to Gov. Dave Heineman.
The bill is LB998
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- House panel OKs resolution to sue president for Obamacare delays
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq