Jon Richards today released the following statement in response to the news that Republican Attorney General candidate has revealed a prior drunk driving conviction:
“This past year, I was the only Democrat named a Legislator of the Year by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. I was honored by the recognition, and have made it a top priority during my career in public service to reduce the incidence of drunk driving. Too many Wisconsin families have been victimized by drunk drivers.
“Specifically, I believe Wisconsin's law allowing drunk driving convictions to effectively disappear after 10 years is wrong and bad policy. The Assembly voted on a bipartisan basis, with my support, to make all second offenses count as second offenses, and that bill should be taken up by the Senate. In addition, I coauthored a bill to expand the use of ignition interlock devices, and I will continue to push for that bill to also move forward.
“I'm disappointed to learn that my opponent in the race for Attorney General, Brad Schimel, was not more immediately forthcoming about his prior drunk driving ticket. Under the law, if Mr. Schimel were convicted of drunk driving today, it would be treated as a non-criminal first offense, despite his previous guilty plea.
“I hope Mr. Schimel will now join me in pushing for the Legislature to strengthen these laws.”
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin attorney general hopeful Ismael Ozanne's campaign says he was ticketed in an alcohol-related crash in 1986.
The revelation comes one day after Republican Brad Schimel's campaign acknowledged a drunken-driving ticket in 1990. The Ozanne campaign disclosed his ticket in response to inquiries by The Associated Press to other candidates in the race.
A campaign statement Thursday said Ozanne, a Democrat, crashed his car in Madison and was ticketed after a Breathalyzer test showed his blood alcohol level at 0.04 percent. That was under Wisconsin's 0.10 percent limit to drive at the time and he wasn't cited for drunken driving.
However, Wisconsin's "Not a Drop" law prohibits drivers under the legal drinking age from having any alcohol in their bodies. Ozanne was 16 then and was cited under that law.
Wisconsin attorney general hopeful Brad Schimel's campaign says he was cited nearly 24 years ago for drunken driving.
Darrin Schmitz, Schimel's campaign consultant, said Wednesday that Schimel was cited in May 1990 in Milwaukee County for first-offense drunken driving. Schmitz says Schimel hasn't been cited or driven drunk since.
Schimel, a 48-year-old Republican who currently serves as Waukesha County district attorney, said in a statement he made a mistake as a young person. He said he pleaded guilty, took responsibility for his actions and has worked to fight drunken driving as a prosecutor.
Schimel said Tuesday he was skeptical of criminalizing first-offense drunken driving in Wisconsin, saying such a move would jam the courts and result in forfeitures flowing to the state rather than municipalities.
Waukesha County District Attorney and Attorney General candidate Brad Schimel made the following statement today regarding his OWI offense roughly 24 years ago:
“I made a terrible error of judgment as a young person, and it’s a mistake that I deeply regret.
“I pleaded guilty and took responsibility for my actions, and I continue to work each day to help others learn form my experience.
“As a career frontline prosecutor, I’ve committed my entire adult life to fighting crime and making Wisconsin a safer state. Those efforts have included combating drunk driving and the very real dangers it creates. My experience led to me to help create a variety of innovative and successful programs designed to reduce the number of first time offenders and repeat drunk drivers.”