Lawmakers try again on drunken driving laws

   Rep. Jim Ott of Mequon and Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills say they plan to introduce bills that would criminalize first-time offenses for drivers with high blood alcohol percentages

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Two Republican legislators say they'll try again this session to overhaul Wisconsin's drunken driving laws.

Rep. Jim Ott of Mequon and Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills say they plan to introduce bills that would criminalize first-time offenses for drivers with high blood alcohol percentages; require first-time offenders to appear in court; make a third conviction a felony; establish mandatory minimum sentences for drunken drivers that cause injuries or death; and require police to seize drunken drivers' cars beginning with a third-time offense.

The package closely mirrors bills Ott and Darling pushed during the last session. None of those proposals got a vote after fiscal estimates showed they would have cost the state tens of millions of dollars.

Ott says those estimates were unrealistic.


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