Tuesday - July 11, 2017 9:00 am

Wisconsin refuses to crack down on drunk driving

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Wisconsin remains the only state in the nation where drunk driving is not a crime. And despite the repeated efforts of some lawmakers, that is not likely to change anytime soon. In Wisconsin, it seems getting a drunk driving ticket is almost considered a right of passage. Those caught first time drunk driving are given what is the equivalent of a parking ticket. It doesn't even rise to the level of misdemeanor, much less a felony. Senator Alberta Darling and Rep. Jim Ott have repeatedly introduced legislation to toughen Wisconsin's drunk driving laws. So far, the only bills to gain approval of a majority of lawmakers have been baby steps. During the last legislative session, lawmakers made a fourth drunk driving conviction a felony. So much for three strikes and you're out. Penalties also increased for those with seven, eight or nine offenses. But that is a lot of chances for those who choose to drink and drive. Now, Darling and Ott are focusing on increasing penalties for second offense drunk drivers, but the political reality is that there is not support among fellow lawmakers to get tougher on first time offenders. Is it any wonder we have so many drivers in La Crosse and elsewhere getting picked up for their fifth, or eighth, drunk driving offense? Maybe if we did more than slap people on the wrist when they get caught a first time, they would wise up and avoid a second time.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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