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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 8, 1995)
Continued from Page 1
At .08 every critical skill neces
sary for driving is affected, Fell said,
and someone who has a BAC level of
.08 is five times more likely to be in
Lightner said those most likely to
be involved in a serious accident
would have extremely high BAC lev
els, such as above .15.
In order to have a long-term im
pact on drunken drivers, Lightner
said, swift and sure punishments need
to be implemented, and there needs
to be a perceived threat of being
Lightner said she would like to see
a system with higher penalties for
higher BAC levels.
Crosby said her package of Driv
ing While Intoxicated reforms sent a
message to drunken drivers.
“I’m not trying- to stop anybody
from drinking,” Crosby said. “All
I’m asking is that people do not drive
In addition to lowering the legal
BAC level, LB 150 would strengthen
penalties for repeat DWI offenders.
LB 150 was introduced as a result
of a task force on DWI laws orga
nized by Crosby. Nine bills have
been introduced this year based on
recommendations by the committee.
Seven of those bills were heard by
the Transportation Committee Tues
day. Four other bills dealing with
drinking and driving also were heard
by the committee.
Some of the other DWI bills in
•LB201, sponsored by Sen. Carol
Hudkins of Malcolm, would increase
the penalty for a fourth and fifth DWI
offense. It would eliminate the eight
year statue of limitations on consid
ering prior DWI convictions and in
crease the reinstatement fee for a
driver’s license from $95 to $135.
•LB813, sponsored by Sen. Tim
Hall of Omaha, would reduce the
license reinstatement fee from $95 to
LB219, also sponsored by Hall, would
reduce the eight-year statue of limi
tations to five years.
•LB715, sponsored by Sen. Doug
Kristensen of Minden, wouldincrease
I—.ill mil ll III 1....-a—
Laura Essay, a former assistant attorney general, testifies
Tuesday in support of stricter DWI laws during a
Transportation committee hearing of the Nebraska
A look at some of the bills heard Tuesday by the Transportation
■ LB150 lowers the blood-alcohol content level for a DWI
conviction from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent. Also increases the
penalty for a fourth-offense DWI to a felony punishable by up to
five years in prison.
■ LB201 increases the penalty for a fourth-offense DWI; also for
fifth-offense DWI to a felony punishable by up to 25 years in
prison. Would eliminate the eight-year limit on considering prior
■ LB242 allows for a 90-day vehicle impoundment for driving on
a suspended license following a DWI conviction.
■ LB245 increases from five to 10 years the period before
someone can ask for a reduction in a 15-year driver's license
the DWI statue of limitations from
eight to 12 years. It would allow
counties to impound the vehicle of
someone caught driving when his or
her license was suspended for a DWI
conviction. It also would increase the
penalty for a fourth DWI conviction.
•LB225, sponsored by Hall, would
allow people who have lost their li
censes due to a DWI offense to re
ceive a driving permit for work.
526 P Street
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■ ' . ___ -
Family pickets to protest
the system that failed them
By Brian Sharp
For Shirley Hubbard Justice is a mirage.
Hubbard and other family members braved
frigid winds Tuesday while picketing outside
the Lancaster County Jail. She was there to
remember her brother, John Welch, who died
Jan. 16 as a result of an incident inside the jail.
Hubbard said she was there to protest a
system that failed her.
“We lost a brother and nobody seems to
give a care that he’s dead, that he’s gone,”
Welch was involved in a Jan. 13 scuffle
with another inmate. He was in a holding cell
after being arrested on a misdemeanor tres
passing charge. An autopsy revealed Welch
suffered two severe blows to the head. A grand
jury hearing looking into the death is sched
uled to begin today.
Welch’s sisters, girlfriend, aunt, brother
in-law, nieces and nephews arrived at 8:30
a.m. Tuesday and planned to stay past noon.
Signs they carried read “Honk for Justice'
and “Misdemeanor=Death.” Family members
also passed out black ribbons, a symbol of
awareness and remembrance, they said.
Janie Wichman, Welch’s girlfriend, carried
a sign reading: “Why are you afraid to find out
what happened to John Welch?”
Wichman said the reality of what happened
was still difficult to accept, but the issue needed
to be confronted and prevented from happen
Wichman said she had been the first person
notified by jail personnel. The 3 ajn. phone
call informed her that Welch had been taken to
Lincoln General Hospital in serious condition.
Hubbard said she was surprised by the
amount of public support the family had re
As she was talking, a passing driver honked
in response to one of the signs. Hubbard smiled,
and waved. But that smile vanished as she
glanced back at the jail and returned to her
place in the picket line.
Continued from Page 1
O’Brien of Waterloo said polls in two Ne
braska newspapers had indicated that more
than 80 percent of Nebraska voters wanted
O’Brien said she felt intimidated just giving
testimony before the committee in opposition
to what Nelson wanted. She said she would
feel even more intimidated as an appointed
“How would I feel if I had to make decisions
against the governor’s will?” she asked.
Nelson said an appointed board would be
more accountable in its handling of education
dollars. He said he didn’t believe elected rep
resentatives were more accountable to their
constituencies than appointed ones.
“I don’t think that we should believe that
voting and accountability go hand in glove,”
Nelson stressed that the resolution was not
intended to enhance his own power because his
term as governor would expire before the
“This is not a power grab,” he said.
Questioning Nelson, Sen. Chris Beutler of
Lincoln said it made him uneasy that the
resolution’s language did not define the
governor’s ability to remove board members.
He expressed concern that a governor could
arbitrarily remove board members.
Nelson responded that governors were un
der intense scrutiny by the public, making such
an action difficult and unlikely.
Sen. Elaine Stuhr of Bradshaw asked Nelson
if he would consider a partially elected board.
Nelson said he would consider it, but a fully
appointed board would eliminate questions
about who had more power, elected or ap
Allen suggested a four-year appointment to
the board to increase accountability on top of
that already provided by the appointment.
484-8311 for an appointment or just stop by
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