(Juneau) State Representative Mark Born says he will sign onto legislation being promoted by Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt. On September 4, a Senate committee heard hours of testimony from a variety of speakers on 11 bills intended to toughen the state’s drunk driving laws. Proposals include making a first Operating While Intoxicated offense a misdemeanor and a mandatory five-year sentence for killing someone while under the influence.
Sheriff Schmidt was asked to speak to the committee because of his post as Second Vice President of the Badger State Sheriff’s Association because of his background in OWI enforcement. He told us last week on WBEV’s Community Comment that talked to legislators about closing a loophole that allows for multiple first OWIs due to using different vehicles.
“Did you know in Wisconsin you can get six, first-offense OWI’s depending on the vehicle you are in,” he says, “first offense OWI in a car; if you wait ten years you can get another OWI first offense in a car; then you have OWI on an ATV; OWI on a snowmobile; OWI in a boat; and OWI in an off-road highway vehicle. “That seems ridiculous to me,” Schmidt says.
Born says the bill makes sense and has a good chance of bipartisan support.
You can listen to our conversations with Born and Schmidt here: