MADISON (WKOW) — Wisconsin is known to have the most lenient drunk driving laws in the country and every year lawmakers introduce legislation to curb it, but a majority of those bills go nowhere.
Wisconsin is unique because it is the only state that treats a first drunk driving offense like a traffic ticket rather than a criminal offense.
Thursday night at 10, WKOW is Digging Deeper into how many laws have changed over the past decade, how many bills never received a hearing and why some believe lawmakers are not doing enough.
Legislation to make a first OWI offense a misdemeanor has been introduced again this year. Under the proposal, drivers would face a fine up to $500 or up to 30 days in jail. This bill has bipartisan support but making it across the finish line to the governor’s desk will be a battle in the Senate.
Capitol Bureau Chief Emilee Fannon askes Republican leadership why it’s been a struggle to pass legislation to change how to treat a first drunk driving offense.