The penalties for certain serious crimes should be increased. For example, we have an ongoing problem with drunk driving in Wisconsin. In the last session of the Legislature I introduced Assembly Bills 207 and 208. AB 207 would have made first offense operating while intoxicated (OWI) a crime at blood alcohol levels of .15 and above. Currently, first offense OWI is treated as a municipal citation. AB 208 would have made third offense OWI a felony and increased the felony level by one higher category for each offense beyond the third.
While neither bill passed, I plan on reintroducing versions of these bills in the next session. Additionally, I plan on introducing a bill that would require first time offenders to appear in court. Under current law a first time offender can simply send his or her lawyer before the judge without having to confront the seriousness of his or her actions.
Repeat drunk drivers present a danger on the roadways for everyone. Those who cannot resist the temptation to drink and drive should receive longer prison sentences and -- at some point -- should lose their driving privileges altogether.