Madison: Today, Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) called on Governor Scott Walker to add legislation cracking down on drunken driving to the December 2, 2013 Special Session.
After the governor announced that he would be calling a Special Session of the legislature to address health care issues including Medicaid and HIRSP, Senator Carpenter had sent a letter to the governor, which stated, in part:
“I respectfully request that you add to this session another pressing issue facing the health and safety of Wisconsinites: cracking down on drunken driving in Wisconsin.
Legislators have introduced – and the State Assembly has passed – very important drunken driving laws this session, but the Senate so far is not scheduled to come back in session until next year. But we should not wait until next year to pass this important legislation.
Passing this legislation before this Christmas and New Year’s Eve would send a strong message to those who may be tempted to drive irresponsibly after holiday festivities. Too many of our family, friends and neighbors are hurt or killed by drunk drivers. It is time to get serious with laws to keep offenders – especially repeat offenders – off the road now.
For the health and safety of families in our state, please add cracking down drunken driving bills to the special legislative session in for December of this year.”
“I am disappointed that the governor disregarded this letter, and did not include this issue in the topics for legislation to be covered in December’s Special Session,” said Carpenter.
Carpenter noted that the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) has released its latest analysis and shows Wisconsin to be the 8th highest in the nation in per capita in alcohol consumption. “Add to this the fact that Wisconsin is the only state in the nation where the first OWI is not a crime, and you are mixing a dangerous cocktail prior to the holiday season. I call on the governor to make health and safety a priority in this Special Session, and to add cracking down on drunken driving to the issues to be addressed,” said Carpenter.