Doesn’t this story just make my point that taking the keys from a drunk driver probably won’t stop the offender? Jail time or prison takes the multiple drunk driver off the streets…that is really the only to guarantee a drunk driver won’t drive. This guy had 4 prior convictions. Cars or a wheelchair – the guy, for some reason, had to drive.
I’m hopeful that this story from the Badger Herald isn’t just wishful thinking! It appears that both Republicans and Democrats are making headway to strengthen Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws. As you probably know Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws are among the most lax in the United States.
According to the article:
Some of the changes put forth in the bills include requiring repeat offenders to have an ignition interlock on their car, increasing minimum fines and time of imprisonment, and allowing multiple offenders to pursue alcohol treatment with parole instead of being sentenced to time in prison.
Now, I’m not sure about the details especially the part about “increasing the time of imprisonment” but at the same time allowing multiple offenders to “pursue alcohol treatment” instead of time in prison.
I’ll keep you updated.
Mike and Sean commented on my earlier drunk driving post. They asked whether stiff drunk driving laws reduce accidents and injuries. Good question. I did my usual google search and found a study that dates way back to 1987. It was a Purdue University study that found that drunk driving accidents decreased by 20% after stiffer laws were enacted. But, the number of hit and run accidents increased by 8%.
I’ll keep looking for a recent statistic. If you find one please comment!
Thanks for the comments!
If you haven’t read the Journal Sentinel these past few days you are missing out on a good five part series on drinking in Wisconsin.
Tuesday’s article talked about Wisconsin’s lax drunk driving laws. You can get a sense of my opinion on this topic by checking out my tag cloud over on the bottom right of my blog.
Listen to this. I hope you are as shocked as
In 1999, the maximum penalty for a fifth offense translated to 40 months in prison. After that, it changed to a three-year prison term with the possibility of three more years for those who break the law again. But in Milwaukee County, no five-time drunken driver received the maximum, the Journal Sentinel found.
So, if a 5 time drunk driver doesn’t get the maximum then who will? The reports talks about how sentencing varied widely between judges. In short some judges are more liberal and some are more conservative when it comes to sentencing.
I don’t want to cut and past the entire article here. I hope you’ll read it and keep pressure on our legislators to make a change in the right direction.
Mike Nichols wrote an editorial last Saturday about drunk driving. It was kind of a follow up to his story on the collision Cimermancic caused.
I agree with the jist of Mike’s editorial: Drunk drivers in Wisconsin get way too many chances to get back in their cars, drunk, and endanger the rest of us.