Tuesday, August 22, 2006

DWI: How to Fix It in Wisconsin

Owen points out an article which asks for substantive opinion from the AG candidates.

Attorney general candidates Paul Bucher and Kathleen Falk favor criminalizing first-time drunken-driving offenses in Wisconsin, the last state where such an offense is only an ordinance violation.

The Republican Bucher and the Democrat Falk also favor giving law enforcement the power to conduct roadside sobriety checkpoints. Wisconsin is one of 11 states prohibiting the checkpoints.

It is clear that Wisconsin laws on DWI are simply a laughingstock. However, I cannot support criminalizing the first DWI unless there are extenuating circumstances--for example, a BAT in excess of 1.2, or a serious-injury/fatal accident resulting from the offense.

As to the second DWI--it should be criminal and require 10 years, no parole. Third? 20 years, no parole.

The people who control this are members of the Legislature, and it is well-known that THAT particular club takes care of its own. Read the Madison-insider blogs if you want to know which Legislators will NEVER vote to criminalize DWI...

Moving on: I completely agree with Owen that "dragnet" stop/search activities is not only un-necessary, but offensive. Sorry, Paul, we aren't going to agree on this one.

On the other hand, reasonable suspicion means just that; LEO's should NOT be second-guessed by ditz-bed-wetter Circuit Court judges.

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