Wyoming Toughens DUI Laws

Alex Batres reports, abatres@k2tv.com

Wyoming toughens its DUI laws starting July 1st.

Wyoming's new DUI law will require suspected drunk drivers to submit to breath, blood and urine tests.

"If you refuse to give a blood or breath sample, a search warrant will be obtained, then the blood alcohol level samples can be taken regardless", said Mark Trimble, Operations Captain, Casper Police Department.

Law enforcement officials say the the new law will help to increase the conviction rate among DUI offenders

"It puts more teeth in the law which hopefully will work as a deterrent and hopefully people will realize they are going to get charged with a DUI", said Trimble.

Debbie Taylor is a volunteer with the Mother's Against Drunk Driving organization in Casper.

Over the years, Taylor says shes witnessed one too many innocent lives lost to irresponsible drivers behind the wheel.

"Having to deal with some of the victims families, its heartbreaking what they go through, the loss that they feel and drunk driving is a 100% preventable crime, said Taylor.

The number of DUI arrests has drastically climbed over the years, with a total of 643 arrests made last year. MADD organization members say the new tougher law is a step toward eliminating drunk drivers on the road but they say other measures are needed as well

"On a national level we are imploring congress in Washington to seek funding for preventing drunk driving with technology, in newer vehicles we would like to have an ignition interlock, if it senses alcohol in the car it will not start", said Taylor.