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Changes in Wisconsin OWI Laws

Legislation has been introduced to the Wisconsin State Congress that would add some changes in Wisconsin OWI Laws. The proposed bill would bring harsher penalties for OWI repeat offenders.

According to the Department of Transportation Wisconsin has the highest rate of drunk driving in the nation. Wisconsin also has some of the most lax laws when it comes to disciplining people convicted of OWI.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, would create a 5-strike system. Drivers convicted of 5 OWIs would lose their license for 10 years. The current system only suspends licenses for two years after a fifth OWI.

Similar bills have been introduced in the past and have failed. However, lawmakers are hopeful the bill will pass this time.

Brown County Sheriff John Gossage supports the bill, but is also pushing for a 3-strike system instead of five. Governor Scott Walker has also voiced his support for the bill.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) supports stricter laws, but is proposing different penalties for a fifth offense. MADD wants ignition interlock devices to be installed for 10 years after a fifth OWI conviction.

“We just think that there are more effective ways to protect the public than just hoping for the best and taking away someone’s license, which as history tells us is not an effective approach,” said Frank Harris MADD spokesperson.

Currently ignition interlocks are required to be installed for one year after a license has been suspended for two years after a fifth OWI.

The next step for the bill is to hold public hearings and form legislative committees, however, none have been scheduled yet.

If you have been charged with an OWI call the lawyers at Huppertz & Powers. They are dedicated to helping their clients by maintaining an open and honest line of communication throughout the entire legal process. With years of experience handling OWI cases Huppertz & Powers will be your strongest advocate during your trial.


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