In an effort to curb drunk driving, lawmakers are looking to tack hefty penalties onto drivers before they are ever convicted who refuse to take a breathalyzer test upon an arrest.

According to two bills moving through the Senate, arrested drivers who refuse a breathalyzer for the first time would now be committing a second-degree felony, per SB 232, and would be required to have a personal breathalyzer known as an “ignition interlock device” placed in their car for a year, per SB 260, a device that can cost more than $1,000.

The latter bill, SB 260, passed with a vote of 19-1 in the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee on February 7, its third and final stop before heading to the floor, and has an identical House companion, HB 39, where it has cleared two of three assigned panels.

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