Wisconsin Senate Approves Tougher Penalties for Drunk Driving
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on January 25, 2016 in Car Accidents
The Wisconsin Senate passed a bill last week to impose tougher penalties for repeated drunk driving offenses. The measure passed the state senate without opposition on Jan. 20, 2016.
Currently, a fourth DUI offense is only considered a felony if it happens within five years of a third offense. This new bill would make a fourth-time DUI offense a felony, punishable by up to three years in prison.
Under the bill, fifth and sixth drunk driving offenses would be classified as a Class G felony, instead of a Class H felony. This would increase maximum prison sentences for fifth and sixth drunk driving offenses by three to five years. Seventh, eighth and ninth drunk driving offenses would receive a maximum prison sentence of seven years and ten months, instead of five years. A maximum prison sentence for a tenth DUI offense would increase from seven to ten years. Senator Alberta Darling, R-River Hills sponsored this bill, which has been stalled in past years. The bill will go to the Assembly next.
Many critics view this as a compromise bill, as Wisconsin drunk driving penalties are still the most lenient in the nation. First time DUI offenders in Wisconsin receive a traffic ticket, and do not lose driving privileges. Wisconsin remains the only state in the nation that does not criminalize first-time drunk drivers.
Wisconsin has the highest drunk driving rate in the nation, and almost half of all traffic deaths are alcohol-related.
If you or a loved one was the victim of a drunk driver, the accident attorneys at Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice will fight for your justice. We have helped numerous clients receive the maximum compensation for damages resulting from a drunk driver. Contact us today for a free evaluation.