Kansas lawmakers begin modifying drunk driving laws

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

Kansas legislators are overhauling the state's drunk driving laws to crack down on offenders and replace a defunct law that allowed police to compel suspects to blood alcohol testing.

The U.S. Supreme Court determined a warrantless breath test is permissible, but police would need to obtain a warrant to conduct a blood test.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering bills to clarify how officers should handle cases in which a suspect refuses testing. The bills also propose lowering penalties in certain cases where suspects refuse testing.

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Dem. Sen. David Haley says the bill aims to "compel" suspected drunk drivers to take a test while protecting privacy.

Rep. Sen. Rick Wilborn chairs the committee. He says he hasn't decided when he'll schedule a vote or any further debate.
 

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