Brooks: Bills Will Help Strengthen Wisconsins Drunk Driving Laws
A bi-partisan movement in Wisconsin’s state Assembly leads to efforts to strengthen drunk driving laws. Representative Ed Brooks says these bills, if approved, will require those accused of first offense OWI to appear in court, otherwise receive a higher fine. “Part of the thinking is that it is very humbling and it does reflect the gravity of the problem and percentages show that a number of, the numbers of repeat offenders are reduce dramatically by having a person appear in person for their first offense rather than just putting a check in the mail, sending in thinking ‘well, no harm, no foul,’”said Representative Brooks. Brooks also said the bills would make 2nd offense OWI a misdemeanor and 4th offense OWI a felony – regardless of timing. “They took out that roll back from the stand point that if you rob a bank or if you rob anybody actually, it doesn’t go away, you rob something or somebody,” said Brooks. “Drunk driving is a serious enough problem that there should be no – well, there can be forgiveness, but it shows on your record.” The Assembly also took a loophole currently in Wisconsin’s ignition interlock law and eliminated it. Representative Brooks said the law used to allow a person, after they were arrested for OWI, continue to drive until their court date without an ignition interlock. “Now they’ve changed that to where indeed you will have an interlock in your vehicle if you are going to drive at all until such time you had your day in court,” said Brooks. Brooks says this bill tightens up the law and overall these bills will help reduce problems on the road.
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