State lawmaker wants to 'deter' drunk driving

CREATED Jan 3, 2013

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MADISON - A state lawmaker wants to toughen Wisconsin's drunk driving laws.

When the next legislative session begins, State Rep. Jim Ott (R-River Hills) will introduce six bills cracking down on driving while intoxicated.

"I want legislation that will have meaningful impact," Ott told WTMJ's Wis. Afternoon News.  "We're not interested in putting more people in jail or having people pay higher fines.  I would like to see less drivers impaired on the roads."

"The ultimate goal is deterrence."

The measures include criminalizing first-time offenses with Blood Alcohol Levels of .15 or more and making third-time offenses a felony.

Another bill would require first time offenders to appear in court.

"All first-time offenders would be required to appear in court," Ott explained.  "In some counties a person can simply send their attorneys to the court."

Ott is optimistic one of the measures could become law.

"I want to introduce something that would be able to pass," he said.