Is it tough enough?
Wisconsin has tightened its penalties for drunk driving, though the new legislation does not go as far as some residents would like.
The new law makes a fourth operating while intoxicated (OWI) offense a felony if it occurs within five years of an earlier offense, requires ignition interlocks for repeat offenders and first-time offenders who are stopped while driving with at or above a 0.15 blood alcohol level, and increases first offense OWI to a misdemeanor if a child under 16 is in the vehicle.
Still, anti-drunk driving advocates had wanted the bill to make all first offenses a crime and legalize roadside sobriety checkpoints.
“This bill is an important step in the fight against drunk driving in Wisconsin,” Gov. Doyle said in a statement. “We still have a long way to go. The bill is not everything everybody wanted, and it’s not everything I wanted. But it is a good bill and another major step forward to fight drunk driving.”