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Wisconsin Legislature May Toughen DUI Laws

Wisconsin lawmakers are considering changes to the state's DUI laws that would impose tougher penalties on first offenders whose blood alcohol content tests at almost twice the legal limit. If an offender's blood alcohol level tests at.15% they would be required to install an ignition interlock device on the vehicle that they drive. The bill under consideration would also expand a treatment program that serves as an alternative to jail time and increases penalties for repeat offenders. Family members of people killed in recent high-profile alcohol-related traffic accidents in Wisconsin say that the changes don't go far enough. They want the state to make the first offense a crime, something that legislators say is not likely to pass. Chuck Hurley, chief executive of Mothers Against Drink Driving, says that his group supports the measure, but that "only in Wisconsin" did such legislation signify progress. The state still has a ban on sobriety check points and even has a law on the books that allows minors to be served alcohol in a bar if they are with a parent or legal guardian.