Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws would be tougher under bill

Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws would be tougher under bill

Lawmakers held a public hearing Tuesday morning on a bill that could permanently take away a driver’s license from a repeat offender of drunken driving.

“Somebody chooses to drink and drive,” said Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield). “I think when you get to a fourth time, I mean, there should have been enough lesson in there, and there needs to be some type of penalty.”

The bill would permanently take away licenses for drivers who either have at least four operating-while-intoxicated offenses or have at least two OWI offenses and two “qualifying convictions.”

The qualifying convictions include certain homicides involving a motor vehicle and certain felonies involving a motor vehicle.

Rep. Beth Myers (D-Bayfield) discussed the impact the bill would have on drivers who live in rural areas. She said for some people, taking away their driver’s licenses takes away their livelihood because they won’t have a way to get to work.

Under current law, a driver whose license is suspended or revoked can apply for an occupational license. This type of license restricts where and when that person can drive, such as to and from work.

This measure would prohibit four-time offenders from applying for occupational licenses.