Friday, October 21, 2005

Drunk Driving Compromise Bill

After passing different drunk driving bills last week, the House and Senate have both approved a compromise drunk driving bill, H4446. The compromise is softer than bill proponents had hoped, but stronger than the earlier House bill. The bill includes the definition of a new crime, drunk driving with a child, the requirement of ignition interlock devices in some cases, and new minimum mandatory sentences. But those sentences are not as severe as supporters had hoped, and the law does not include a provision they felt was key, allowing certified court records to prove prior convictions, rather than requiring testimony. Governor Romney expressed disappointment with the bill, but the House and Senate appear to have the votes to override a veto.