Drunk driving consequences tougher in Kansas as of July 1

Drunk driving laws in Kansas got a lot tougher beginning July 1 as first-time offenders will now be required to use devices on their vehicles to prevent them from driving while intoxicated.

The law, passed by the 2011 Kansas Legislature, requires motorists convicted of driving under the influence to use interlock devices on their vehicles, creates a system to track repeat offenders and strengthens most penalties.

?The main reason to use ignition interlock devices is to save lives by keeping drunk drivers off the roads, but they also provide another important benefit,? said Pete Bodyk, manager of Kansas Department of Trans?portation?s Traffic Safety section.

?The offender knows that without the ignition interlock system, they will not be able to drive. Since they are able to drive, they can continue to support their families by driving children to school, driving themselves to work and running necessary errands.?

Here are the highlights of the new law:

? Failure of a breath test with a result between 0.08 and 0.15, on the first occurrence, is a 30-day suspension followed by six months of ignition interlock device if your record is clear and 12 months of interlock if you have a prior open container violation or three or more moving violations.

? Failure of a breath test with a result over 0.15 the first time, or over 0.08 on a second or subsequent occurrence is a one-year suspension followed by ignition interlock (length dependent on priors).

? Refusal of a breath, blood or urine test is a one-year suspension, followed by ignition interlock requirement (length dependent on priors), regardless of how many prior Kansas DUI occurrences a person has.

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