"I would oppose the bill in its current form," Coomer said. "People convicted of DUI do not deserve more lenient treatment than people convicted of other misdemeanors."
House Bill 799 currently reads: "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person convicted of violating Code Section 40-6-391 who is not subsequently convicted of a violation of any offense under this title for which points are assessed within five years, as measured from the date of the arrest for which a conviction was obtained or a plea of nolo contendere was accepted, shall have such conviction permanently expunged and completely removed from his or her criminal and driving record."
Drugs, as well as "other intoxicating substances" are included in the category of DUI along with alcohol.
Battles agrees with Coomer, saying that while driving under the influence is not a felony, he is uncertain if he can support the bill.
"I don't know that I am in full agreeance with the after five years expunging that off of their record," Battles said. "I know that is not a felony, but I do question whether or not that needs to be done without some other part being added to this legislation."
While the bill would offer a second chance for a clean record, an idea Coomer is open to, questions abound of whether or not these offenders should receive that option.
"I appreciate the value of second chances and redemption for people who've made bad choices--that's why we have lower penalties and punishment for first-time DUI offenders. The policy question is: 'Should a person convicted of a single DUI be treated more favorably than a person convicted of a single trespass or a single littering charge?' The answer is obviously, 'No.' So I am opposed to HB 799."