Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Drunken drivers would have to wait 10 years to clear records

(AP) — Drunken drivers would have to wait 10 years for convictions to come off their records under a bill that has cleared the state Senate.

First-time drunken drivers often avoid jail time. But second and third offenses require jail time, with a fourth offense earning a felony conviction.

But drunken driving offenses only count against each other if they occur within a five-year period. A person with a previous drunken driving conviction is treated as a first-time offender if the first offense occurred more than five years ago.

The state Senate voted 35-1 on Wednesday to increase the time period to 10 years. 

State corrections officials say it will likely increase the number of repeat offenders, thus adding to the state's prison population.