A bill to force suspected drunken drivers to submit to a breath, blood or urine test for alcohol is headed to the House floor for debate.
House Bill 29, sponsored by Rep. Keith Gingery, R
-Jackson, received endorsement by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday morning on a 5-4 vote.
Patterned after South Dakota's tough law, the bill would repeal Wyoming's 50-year-old implied consent law that allows suspected drunken drivers to refuse any tests for alcohol.
Gingery said the bill is targeted at repeat offenders with high blood-alcohol levels who know how to use the law to avoid punishment.
Under the state's nearly 40-year-old implied consent law, suspected drunken drivers can refuse an alcohol test. In doing so, they avoid any criminal penalty but face suspension of their drivers' licenses.
Supporters said there are remedies for abuse. They also said the blood draws are obtained by health care professionals in a medical setting.
Phillips said that while the bill allows for "forced blood draws," they were needed in fewer than 5 percent of the DUI arrests in South Dakota.