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Assembly approves stiffer ignition interlock rule

An ignition interlock device measures the alcohol on a driver's breath and can disable the starter.

MADISON — The state Assembly has approved a bill that would create stiffer ignition interlock rules for drunken drivers.

The bipartisan-supported measure passed Wednesday, May 10th would prohibit all repeat offenders as well as first-time offenders with a blood alcohol percentage of 0.15 or greater from driving any vehicle without an ignition interlock.

State law already requires all offenders to place an interlock on their vehicles when their license is reinstated. The bill’s supporters worry that offenders will drive someone else’s car before they regain their license, resulting in a ticket for driving without a license but not for violating the interlock requirement.

Republican Rep. Jim Ott, the bill’s sponsor, says the bill closes the “interlock loophole.”

The Assembly approved the measure on a voice vote. The bill now goes to the state Senate.