Nixon signs Missouri drunken driving overhaul

JEFFERSON CITY | Gov. Jay Nixon has signed drunken driving legislation designed to steer people toward treatment programs and help track repeat offenders.

Nixon had made it a priority to overhaul Missouri's drunken driving laws after concerns that punishment for drunken-driving varies widely among counties. The governor signed the bill today; the law takes effect Aug. 28.

Under the legislation, all Missouri courts could develop special drunken driving courts that focus on treatment. Repeat offenders and those caught with higher blood-alcohol contents would need to complete the treatment program or face jail time.

Law officers and prosecutors also must set standards for reporting drunken driving offenses to a state database. That information already is required, but gaps have created problems.