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CHANGES IN DUI LAWS PROPOSED

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The Utah Substance Abuse Anti-Violence Council has proposed changes in the state's DUI laws, most of which make penalties more severe and more consistent with other criminal punishments.

One of the most significant changes could be that instead of require four DUI convictions before the offense becomes a felony, it would only take three convictions.The proposed changes were brought before the state's Sentencing Commission Thursday afternoon by assistant attorney general Reed Richards. Richards, also a member of the commission, said the anti-violence council was looking for input, but would bring ideas back to the commission in the form of a bill for its approval or disapproval later this year.

Other changes include considering out-of-state and federal convictions of a similar nature when counting prior offenses and making a drunken-driving felony just like any other felony, which carries the possibility of prison time. Right now, a drunken-driving felony is treated differently and prison time isn't usually an option unless someone is killed.