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Wisconsin lawmakers pushing for tougher OWI penalties

Each state has different laws mandating the severity or strictness of the punishment for driving under the influence of alcohol. What starts out as a fun night with friends in Wisconsin may turn into a serious felony charge, fine or even jail time. Alcohol may impair the ability of a person to make wise decisions, and a person may be charged for drunk driving if their blood alcohol content is higher than the legal limit. As more people are injured or killed in incidents where drivers are impaired in some way from drugs or alcohol, stricter penalties may be enforced by law enforcement officials.

Two Wisconsin lawmakers are pushing several bills through the state legislature to tighten up penalties for those arrested for OWI. Other members of the legislature recently heard testimony regarding the new laws, and public hearings were held for three others.

If approved, the measures would allow police to take control of vehicles involved in OWI incidents, ensure a criminal misdemeanor charge is the blood alcohol content is .15 or higher, and each drunk driver would be required to appear in court at least one time. The additional bills would make a third or fourth OWI strike a felony and lengthen prison times when a death is involved.

It may be important for all citizens to understand the laws as they are written and have a say in how they are passed and enforced. Any person facing an OWI charge may benefit from consulting an attorney to ensure they understand the charges against them.

Source: Source: WSAU, “Hearing on DUI bills today,” August 15, 2013

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