Wis. Republicans circulate drunken driving bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Two Republican legislators are trying to drum up support for bills that would toughen Wisconsin's drunken driving laws.

Rep. Jim Ott and Sen. Alberta Darling sent out memos to their fellow legislators on Monday asking for co-sponsors by Feb. 21.

The proposals would make first-time offenders with blood alcohol levels of 0.15 percent or higher guilty of a misdemeanor; require first-time offenders to appear in court even if they face a civil violation; make a third offense a felony; and allow police to seize third-time offenders' cars.

Drunken drivers who injure someone would face new mandatory minimum sentences ranging from six months in jail to three years in prison depending on the injuries' severity. Drivers who kill someone would face a new mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.


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