NC Bill Pushes For Tougher DWI Laws

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina lawmakers want to toughen drunk-driving laws so more people convicted can't drive again unless they've totally abstained from alcohol.

The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday in favor of more restrictions on DWI offenders whose blood-alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit or higher.

First-time offenders currently can receive limited driving privileges, mostly for three years. But their vehicles must include equipment requiring them to blow into a device to start them.

The current limit is 0.04 percent. The bill filed by Rep. Darren Jackson of Raleigh says drivers can't have any alcohol in their systems to drive. People who can't blow into the device and find a way to drive would face a misdemeanor.

Zero-tolerance limits already apply to worse offenders. The bill now goes to the Senate.