Wisconsin Assembly passes drunken driving bills - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin Assembly passes drunken driving bills

The Wisconsin Assembly has passed three bills designed to toughen the state's notoriously weak drunken driving laws.

One measure passed 88-7 on Tuesday would make all second offenses misdemeanors. Under current law, a second offense committed more than 10 years after a first offense is considered a first offense.

The bill would also make all fourth offenses felonies, no matter how far back the previous offenses occurred. Currently, fourth offenses committed more than five years after a third offense are misdemeanors.

Another proposal passed on a voice vote would require all first-time offenders to make an appearance in court. A third bill passed would ensure that ignition interlock devices are promptly installed when ordered by a court.

Wisconsin is the only state where first offense drunken driving isn't a crime.

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