With lax drunk driving laws, it’s easy to see why Wisconsin has the highest drunk driving rate in the nation, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. While the Wisconsin Assembly recently OK’d a few bills designed to toughen the state’s DUI laws by closing loopholes, increasing consequences for repeat offenders, and strengthening the state’s ignition interlock law, Wisconsin still does not criminalize a first drunk driving offense, which is the equivalent to a traffic ticket in the state.
According to Htrnews.com, Wisconsin Attorney General candidate Jon Richards plans to change that if elected into office. Richards, one of the assembly members who helped pass last year’s tough drunk driving bills, which are still awaiting Senate approval, plans to work toward criminalizing first-time DUI offenses. Richards also believes that a first DUI conviction should stay on the offender’s record permanently rather than be erased after 10 years, which doesn’t seem likely to happen, considering second DUI offenses are currently erased after 10 years.
Richards also intends to expand the state’s ignition interlock laws and provide more support to drug courts, which not only holds drug users accountable for their offenses but addresses their addiction so that they can become productive citizens and saves taxpayers money by keeping such offenders out of jails.
At Car Breathalyzer Help, we’re all for seeing tougher DUI laws in Wisconsin and hope that any candidate elected into office will seize the opportunity to strengthen such laws in the state and finally criminalize first-time drunk driving offenses.