Lawmakers Eye Tougher Drunk Driving Penalties


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Lawmakers Eye Tougher Drunk Driving Penalties

By Alex Hagan. CREATED Aug 1, 2013

BROWN COUNTY, WI- Wisconsin is one of the worst states in the nation for drunk drivers on the road. But some legislators are working to change that. Today a State Assembly Committee discussed a proposal to toughen OWI laws especially when it comes to repeat offenders. 

Last year more than 1500 people were arrested for OWI in Brown County with more than 150 car crashes linked to alcohol. 
"The community is tired of being victimized by this and they're expecting better," says Captain Randy Schultz with the Brown County Sheriff's Department.
But police say people are just not learning their lesson. 
The bigger issue for law enforcement is repeat offenders people getting pulled over for their third, their fourth, and their fifth offense.
Driving drunk is not a felony until the fourth offense, but new legislation would make a third OWI a felony. Local law enforcement showing full support if it can take impaired drivers off the streets. 
"It's very strict legislation that will start to change the tide and it's going to take time," says Schultz.
"Hopefully deter people from deciding to drink and drive," says Lt. Kevin Warych with the Green Bay Police Department.
Other proposals  would call for stiffer penalties for injuring someone in a drunk driving accident and a ten year prison sentence for killing someone while driving drunk.