Grieving step father, senator hoping to stop more drunk driving deaths with sobriety checkpoints
Lacey Crisp reports that Paul Jenkins is working through his grief by fighting for stricter drunk driving laws. He supports a plan by Senator Tim Carpenter to allow sobriety checkpoints in the state. Video by 620wtmj.comvideo
MILWAUKEE - It’s a proposal that could cut drunk driving by as much as 30 percent in its first year.
“It’s always been too late for Jen and the kids, they are dead now, we are trying to stop the carnage that’s out there,” said Paul Jenkins.
Jenkins' step-daughter, Jen Bukosky, her unborn child and daughter Courtney were all killed in a drunk driving accident in 2008. The man who hit them had been convicted of drunk driving three times before he hit Bukosky.
“We keep having these horrible, horrible events,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins is working through his grief by fighting for stricter drunk driving laws. He supports a plan by Senator Tim Carpenter to allow sobriety checkpoints in the state.
“When you put the fear of god into people or you diminish the odds that they are going to get away with it, I think people will think twice,” said Sen. Carpenter (D) of Milwaukee.
Carpenter argues he wants to make sobriety check points legal in Wisconsin for police to use as a tool to cut down on one of the state’s biggest problems.
“If it stops one or two fatalities, it’s worth it,” Carpenter said.
Attorneys claim they are legal, but would have to have strict guidelines.
“You can’t unleash a couple of cops to stop anyone they want. There needs to be specific criteria for stopping, the stops need to be limited in duration,” said attorney Jeremy Levinson.
The state patrol prefers to use saturation patrols, saying that is a better use of limited resources. Jenkins argues it would work.
“It is probably the single most piece of legislation that would reduce drunk driving.”
Sheriff David Clarke wanted to see a bill before he comments, but Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said “sobriety checkpoints encourages the use of designated drivers and has a positive impact at reducing drunk driving related crashes."
Republican Speaker of the House, Robin Vos, said, “I have serious questions on the ability to properly implement these checkpoints in a fair and even manner. I have not seen the proposal but will review the legislation once it is introduced.”