A Republican legislator is trying to convince his colleagues to support a bill that would ensure repeat drunken drivers spend time behind bars.
Rep. Jim Ott's proposal would clarify judges must impose a minimum three-year prison sentence on seven-, eight- and nine-time drunken drivers and a minimum four-year prison sentence on 10-time offenders and beyond. Judges also would have to impose a minimum 30-day jail sentence on anyone who causes an injury while driving with a blood alcohol content between 0.04 percent and 0.08 percent.
Ott told the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday he drafted the bill after a state appeals court ruled last month Wisconsin law doesn't require minimum sentences beyond the sixth offense.
The Wisconsin Counties Association argued the bill likely will drive up jail costs.
An Assembly committee has scheduled a hearing on a bill that would impose mandatory minimum sentences on drunken drivers.
Rep. Jim Ott, a Mequon Republican, and Sen. Alberta Darling, a River Hills Republican, have proposed a measure that would impose a minimum three-year prison sentence on 7th, 8th, or 9th -time drunken drivers and a minimum four-year prison sentence on tenth offenses or beyond. Anyone who causes an injury while driving with a blood alcohol content between 0.04 percent and 0.08 percent would spend at least 30 days in jail.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee is set to hold a public hearing on the measure Thursday at the state Capitol. The panel is not expected to vote on the proposal.