Wisconsin Senate passes two bills to crack down on drunk driving

In 2015 over 100,000 Wisconsin drivers had at least two OWI offenses.

In addition to putting their own lives at risk, they are also endangering other drivers on the road.

That’s why the Wisconsin Senate unanimously passed two bills looking to crack down on drunk driving.

When 53 year-old John Miner was pulled over in Tomah and charged with operating while intoxicated Tuesday, it wasn’t his first time. Miner received his 10th OWI charge, and is currently in Jackson County Jail.

“And for what ever reason they can’t seem to learn the lesson that getting behind the wheel is not acceptable,” said Sgt. Tom Walsh of the La Crosse Police.

The La Crosse Police have seen several repeat offenders throughout the city.

“I really don’t know what it is the psyche of these people who are getting caught repeatedly,” added Walsh.

“We want to get these people off the roadways,” said Senator Patrick Testin.

Keeping repeat offenders off the road is the driving force behind two bills that state Senator Testin supports.

The first, Senate Bill 6, greatly increases punishment those arrested for their 5th and 6th OWI from a minimum of 6 months prison time to 18 months.

“They have serious problems, and we want to make sure they’re behind bars, and off our roads,” said Testin.

The second bill establishes a minimum 5-year sentence if someone commits a homicide while driving under the influence.

“The value of a life is a lot greater than that, and a minimum of five years is just that, the bare minimum,”added Testin.

Testin says zero deaths on Wisconsin roadways is not possible with just enforcement alone.

“It’s important that we educate people on the dangers of getting behind the wheel when you’ve had too much to drink,” said Testin.

“There are so very many opportunities for people to avoid getting behind the wheel when they’re drinking, there really is no excuse to get behind the wheel,” added Walsh.

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