Two Lawmakers Hoping For Support To Toughen State's Drunk Driving Laws
Two Wisconsin lawmakers are working on drumming up support to toughen Wisconsin's drunk driving laws.
Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. Jim Ott proposed tougher drunk driving measures in the 2012 legislative session, but the proposals stalled after estimates showed the new measures could cost millions of dollars not already accounted. They are working on reintroducing measures to toughen the state's drunk driving laws again.
Both lawmakers are fighting for all drunk drivers to have to appear in court instead of being able to just pay a ticket and avoid court, even if they only face civil charges. They are calling for all drunk drivers with a blood alcohol content measuring 0.15 or greater to be charged criminally. Currently, a first drunk driving violation in Wisconsin is a civil violation and only becomes a misdemeanor if a minor younger than 16 is also present in the vehicle.
The pair want all drivers convicted of three or more drunk driving convictions to be charged with a felony and have his or her vehicle seized. The driver would also face a minimum mandatory prison sentence for anyone convicted of injury or death in an OWI. Currently in Wisconsin, only a fourth OWI is considered a felony and it has to occur within five years of an earlier case.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation data showed alcohol was involved in nearly 40 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2010. The state's data showed Wisconsin has the highest rate of drunk driving in the country. More than 26 percent of Wisconsin adults admit in a survey they had driven under theinfluence within the previous year.
If you or your loved one has suffered injuries due to a drunk driver, it is important to discuss your situation with a Milwaukee personal injury attorney today. Call for your free, initial consultation.