Schimel: Drunk driving arrest shouldn't 'have any impact'

CREATED Jan 9, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan 9, 2014

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WAUKESHA - Brad Schimel is running for the top legal job in the state, attorney general. If he wins, he would have a big say in drunk driving laws in this state.  

It turns out Schimel himself was arrested for drinking and driving 24 years ago.  Schimel explains he “made a terrible error of judgment as a young person, and it’s a mistake he deeply regrets.”

That arrest has put Schimel under fire because he says he doesn’t know if changing the drunk driving laws to a felony first offense would make an impact.  

Schimel was not at the courthouse Thursday, and would not answer our phone calls, but he told our Newsradio 620 WTMJ, “There’s no connection to this, the only connection to what happened 24 years ago is a commitment I made in my career to make a difference.”

Schimel argues the arrest has no bearing on his decisions now.

“It can’t have any impact.  I’ve already paid my consequences for it. No one can go back and change that to a crime for me, so I don’t have any interest in this.”

Schimel points out he’s skeptical if a change in the law would made a difference, and adds, more research needs to be done.

“We have 49 other states that have criminalized it.  We should take a look at those other states and find out, did criminalizing first offense make a difference to public safety?”