CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Driving away from a gas station without paying could cost drivers their licenses under a bill that has won preliminary approval in the House.

Without debate Wednesday, the House voted 143-139 for the bill, which went to the Ways and Means Committee for further review.

Supporters of the bill said drivers would be less likely to steal gas if they faced losing their licenses. The bill calls for suspensions of up to six months for first offenses and longer for subsequent offenses.

The bill’s opponents said fines and restitution are adequate punishment. They say it’s unfair to severely punish someone who forgets to pay.

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