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Proposed Missouri Law Strives for Stricter Drunk Driving Penalties

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Department of Transportation held a public hearing Tuesday for a bill that would require drivers with a DUI conviction to use an ignition interlock device.

This device is an in-car breathalyzer that controls the ignition. If the driver blows .025 or less, the car is able to start. Otherwise, the key won't turn in the ignition.

Current Missouri law requires anyone convicted of more than one drunk driving offense to use the device. The new law, if passed, would make it mandatory even after the first offense.

The law would also require anyone who refused a breathalyzer to have one of the devices installed in their car to avoid having their license suspended.

Proponents of the bill say it will help cut down on drunk driving in Missouri by half and will save more than 100 lives per year.

However, many restaurant and bar owners oppose the bill, saying it's too harsh and will cost the state and taxpayers too much money to enforce.

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