MADISON, WI - A tough reform to Wisconsin's drunk driving laws is headed to Governor Evers' desk and another reform is approved by the State Senate.
On Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Senate unanimously approved creating a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for homicides committed while driving under the influence. Both bills were authored by Senator Darling and Representative Jim Ott.
"It's past time we cracked down on drunk drivers," Senator Darling said, "I urge Governor Evers to sign this bill soon."
Assembly Bill 17 creates a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison for committing homicide while driving drunk. If a judge believes that sentence is too harsh, they must put their reasons in writing. The bill now heads to Governor Evers' desk.
The State Senate also approved a bill to triple the punishment for 5th and 6th OWI offenses from 6 months to 18 months. Our state isn't experiencing much of a decrease in 5th and 6th OWI offenders.
Currently, OWI offenders in this category are required to be incarcerated for at least six months. Senate Bill 6 should deter individuals from getting behind the wheel intoxicated by increasing the mandatory minimum to 18 months in prison. The bill now heads to the State Assembly for further consideration.
"I appreciate the opportunity to work with Senator Darling on this very important issue in helping to make Wisconsin roads safer," Ott said.
Both bills received unanimous support on the Senate floor.