Trying again: Rep. Jim Ott to introduce seven bills that would increase penalties for drunk driving

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Jim Ott

MADISON (AP) — A Wisconsin lawmaker is set to introduce seven bills increasing penalties for drunken driving in the only state where a first-time offense is not a crime.

Republican Rep. Jim Ott says his bills would increase punishments for drunken driving offenses. And one would require first-time offenders to appear in court.

Ott says he also decided to reintroduce half a dozen other bills that died last session to increase minimum sentences for drivers who injure or kill another person and offenders found driving drunk on more than one occasion.

Frank Harris, a lobbyist for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, says the bills don’t do enough.

Spokeswomen for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Rochester Republican, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a Juneau Republican, say they hadn’t decided whether they’d support the measures.

6 comments

  • Here we go again

    Has it been 5 years already? Must be time for the State of Wisconsin to get tough and repeat offenders AGAIN! Every 5 5 they increase the fines and penalties for REPEAT offenders yet FIRST offense id NOT A CRIME! Oh my Lord. What kind of mixed message is the state sending? You are “allowed” to drink and drive…just not above a BAC of 0.8. First time drunk driving is NOT a crime. (Because we ALL like to drink and drive and first time offenders NEVER hurt or KILL anyone){ that was sarcasm} How come when a person uses Heroin and dies the State punished the “dealer” who supplied the drugs. NOT the person who chose to use drugs. YET the State BLAMES and PUNISHES the person who chose to drink and drive. Out of the 25,000 first offense DUI per year very few involve a crash resulting in death or injury. The states claims to make a first time DUI offense a crime would be a burden on the court system. REALLY? We put more non-violent offenders in jail and prisons then Russia and China combined. Offenders need rehab NOT punishment, more fines and jail time. What good does Jail time do? NOTHING! You are off the streets for a sent of time and then go back to whatever it was that you were doing before jail. The state is now responsible to house, feed, health and well being of the inmate. MOST have jobs and get HUBER work release so now more time, money and correction officers are needed to babysitter the adult inmates. {At taxpayer expense} What are the figures to lock up an inmate for a year in prison? I read anywhere from $30-$50K per inmate! $50,000 a year to lock up a drunk driver is crazy!

  • Here we go again

    Every 5 years the State of Wisconsin increases the penalties for repeat DUI offenders and every time a first offensive is STILL NOT A CRIME! Has arrests for DUI gone down? What is being done at the State Capital to decrease the murder rate in Milwaukee? That is right NOTHING! You can NOT prevent crime. So put another “bandage” on the DUI laws and hope the good law abiding people of Wisconsin OBEY THE LAW! *****P.S. And remember to wear your seatbelt because it is the law and State troopers are trained to spot you law breakers.*****

  • Here we go again

    DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE in Wisconsin! First offense DUI is NOT a crime but don’t do it again:) Wear your seatbelt. But ride your motorcycle without a helmet. Wisconsin laws make me laugh .LOL!

  • XTO

    People have no idea about what happens for the first time OWI The money, the time, the more money, the classes, more money, the assessment, more money, the intoxometer, more money, the occ license, more money, to get regular license back, more money, insurance, lots more money, 50 years on your record, oh yeah dont forget, you have to rent the intoxometer,and again , MORE MONEY!

  • Ryan

    I do not believe that one person should pay the same consequences as another, it should be on a person to person judgment, cant compare apples to oranges…

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