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Missouri Considers Tougher DWI Laws

Jefferson City, MO – Several state and local officials, activists and attorneys met in Jefferson City ) to discuss ways to keep drunk drivers off Missouri's roads.

Dwight Scroggins is a prosecuting attorney from St. Joseph. He told the gathering that one of the biggest problems is that those pulled over for DWI are often treated as first-time offenders who just made a mistake.

Scroggins: "The reality is someone who gets arrested on a first-offense DWI is in all likelihood a multiple-time repeat drunk driver who has just gotten caught for the first time."

Among the proposed solutions: Making it a crime to refuse to submit to a breath test, and removing DWI cases from municipal courts. Governor Jay Nixon convened the summit for the purpose of coming up with ideas for tougher DWI legislation, which will be proposed during the 2010 session.

Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
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