Cracking Down on Drunk Driving
This week, my bill to help curb drunk driving moved one step closer to becoming law with a public hearing in the Assembly Committee on Transportation. Many of you know that I was a traffic investigator for almost 30 years, and I have seen first-hand why this bill is so important.
Wisconsin has the highest rate of drunk driving in the nation, with one person killed or injured in an alcohol-related crash every 2.8 hours on our roadways. That is too many moms, dads and kids being put in harms way due to drunk driving, and I know Wisconsin can do better.
One way to crack down on drunk driving is through the use of ignition interlock devices (IIDs), which require a driver to pass a breath test before the engine will start. IIDs can reduce recidivism by 50-90%, but only if offenders use them. Under current law, Wisconsin offenders can easily get around using a required IID by driving a car without a device and if they get caught they face a mere citation. Assembly Bill 266, which I authored with Representative Dave Heaton (R-Wausau) would close this loophole by tying the IID to the offender rather than a vehicle, and would make violations a criminal offense.
I am pleased to see this bill moving forward in the legislative process, and proud that it is supported by law enforcement organizations, advocacy groups such as Moms Against Drunk Driving, and legislators from both sides of the aisle.