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Brewer signs Arizona bill on right to jury trial

Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a drunken-driving bill that ends misdemeanor DUI defendants’ automatic right to a jury trial for a first offense and eases potential penalties those offenders face.

Under the bill signed Friday, a judge would decide whether to grant a request for a jury trial. The alternative is for a judge to hear the case. People charged with repeat offenses still would have a right to a jury trial.

The bill also shortens how long first-time offenders have to use ignition interlock devices and gives judges new discretion on sentencing.

The current requirement that first-time offenders spend 24 consecutive hours in jail would change to all or part of one day.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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