September 28, 2009

Wisconsin Drunk Driving Laws Still a Joke

Wisconsin - the only state in the country that doesn't consider drunk driving a crime at first blush - failed to pass a bill to remedy that situation last week. Not so coincidentally, a police chief in the state as well as state Rep. Jeff Wood were pulled over and cited for drunk driving.

The arrest was the police chief's first on charges of driving while in intoxicated, but not so for Rep. Wood. Last week's arrest marks his second OWI arrest this year, and fourth overall.

Wood already faces third-offense charges stemming from a Dec. 12 arrest after he crashed through a highway sign with an alleged blood-alcohol level of 0.15. Wood was also convicted of drunken driving in 1990 and 1991.

In his latest arrest Wood had trouble completing field sobriety tests, but a preliminary breath test for alcohol in his system was 0.00. Troopers did find prescription drugs and cough syrup in his car.

Clearly, by not making OWI a crime on first offense, the cultural ambivilance to driving while intoxicated continues in the state.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

While writing about mass transit in my local community, it occurred to me that transit plays a role in how tough judges get with drunk drivers. I would appreciate any thoughts people experienced in combating drunk driving might have: