Panel Call's Kansas DUI Laws 'Dysfunctional'

By: AP
By: AP

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A state board appointed to examine drunken driving laws in Kansas concludes that the whole system needs a major overhaul.

The Kansas Substance Abuse Policy Board says the state's system for punishing drunken drivers is ``so complex and so dysfunctional that it is likely impervious to quick fixes.''

The report is especially critical of the lack of an enhanced penalty for multiple offenders after their third DUI conviction.

Jennings says there is at least an appearance of an incentive for not prosecuting at the highest level.

State law makes a third DUI conviction a felony that is supposed to be prosecuted in state court. But Jennings says the law seems to reward municipal courts for overlooking a conviction or two if it lets them collect more court costs and fines.

The report also cautions lawmakers against making patchwork changes in response to ``headline grabbing'' drunken driving incidents. Instead, he says they should rework the whole thing.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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