Wednesday - September 6, 2017 10:24 am

Take licenses from repeat drunk drivers

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Drunk driving remains a serious problem in Wisconsin. Yet, repeatedly, efforts to strengthen the state's drunk driving laws have failed. So those who think Wisconsin needs to get serious about curbing drunk driving are trying again. Sen. Van Wanggaard has again introduced legislation which would revoke the driver's licenses of those caught drunk driving for a fourth time or more. Under the bill, those drunk drivers would lose their license for 10 years. Similar legislation failed in the last legislative session. But perhaps now is the time. We repeatedly hear stories of people, including in the La Crosse area, picked up for a six or seventh offense OWI. Yet these people continue to be allowed to drive. This legislation makes sense, and should go further. The state should mandate repeat drunk drivers have ignition interlocks installed in their cars so they won't start if they try to drive drunk. And they should be legally prevented from driving someone else's car, a loophole in the current law. We can't continue to give a pass to those who choose to drink and drive. About one third of those caught driving drunk in Wisconsin have been caught before. One third of the state's drunk driving convictions were repeat offenders. And that is just those who got caught. About 52,000 convictions were for a third offense, and nearly 2800 were for a seventh offense, or more. I certainly don't want to share the road with these people who have demonstrated repeatedly poor judgment. It is time for Wisconsin to finally get serious about this issue, and revoke the driver's licenses of those who keep getting behind the wheel after one too many. That seems more than reasonable.

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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