Drunken drivers would have to pay for own breathalyzer under budget provision
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ELKHORN People convicted of drunken driving would have to foot the bill for their own breathalyzer and other tests under a provision added this week to the 2011-13 state budget by the Joint Finance Committee.
The provision mirrors Senate Bill 76 authored by Senators Neal Kedzie, Representative Andre Jacque, and supported by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Rich Zipperer, according to a news release from Kedzie's office.
“This issue was brought to my attention a few years ago by local law enforcement who understand the financial burden drunk drivers can have on their agencies, and the taxpayers,” Kedzie was quoted as saying in the news release. “If enacted, drunk drivers will bear the costs for testing of intoxicants rather than law enforcement, which is how it should be.”
Under current law, a law enforcement officer may request a person to provide a sample of breath, blood, or urine for analysis if the person is arrested for an operating while intoxicated offense.
The law enforcement agency pays the cost for administering such tests. Under this provision, if a person is found to have committed an OWI-related offense, the courts must assess those costs to the person convicted of the offense.