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Gov. Tony Evers signs bill setting 5-year minimum for OWI homicides

MADISON — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has signed a Republican bill that stiffens penalties for drunken drivers who kill someone.

The measure creates a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison for anyone convicted of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. Judges can sentence someone to less than five years if he or she finds a compelling reason.

The state Department of Corrections estimates the change will generate $525,100 in additional operating costs annually.

Evers signed the bill Wednesday.

The bill’s chief Senate sponsor, Republican Alberta Darling, said in a statement that someone who kills someone else deserves a sentence that provides justice for the victim’s family.

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