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Wisconsin committee set to hold drunken driving hearing

Wisconsin committee set to hold drunken driving hearing

A Republican legislator is trying to convince his colleagues to support a bill that would ensure repeat drunken drivers spend time behind bars.

Rep. Jim Ott's proposal would clarify judges must impose a minimum three-year prison sentence on seven-, eight- and nine-time drunken drivers and a minimum four-year prison sentence on 10-time offenders and beyond. Judges also would have to impose a minimum 30-day jail sentence on anyone who causes an injury while driving with a blood alcohol content between 0.04 percent and 0.08 percent.

Ott told the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday he drafted the bill after a state appeals court ruled last month Wisconsin law doesn't require minimum sentences beyond the sixth offense.

The Wisconsin Counties Association argued the bill likely will drive up jail costs.

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An Assembly committee has scheduled a hearing on a bill that would impose mandatory minimum sentences on drunken drivers.

Rep. Jim Ott, a Mequon Republican, and Sen. Alberta Darling, a River Hills Republican, have proposed a measure that would impose a minimum three-year prison sentence on 7th, 8th, or 9th -time drunken drivers and a minimum four-year prison sentence on tenth offenses or beyond. Anyone who causes an injury while driving with a blood alcohol content between 0.04 percent and 0.08 percent would spend at least 30 days in jail.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee is set to hold a public hearing on the measure Thursday at the state Capitol. The panel is not expected to vote on the proposal.

 

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