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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.

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