It’s no surprise that traffic fatalities have increased in Wisconsin. According to the Department of Transportation they’ve jumped by 13% over the past year, and you can blame 1/3 of those fatal crashes on Wisconsin drunk drivers.
The state where a first time drunk driving offense will net a drive nothing more than a ticket lost 556 people to alcohol-related rashes in 2015, and AAA Wisconsin thinks that’s far too many. They’d like people to support a few operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) bills that are designed to stop Wisconsin drunk drivers in their tracks, especially one designed to strengthen the state’s ignition interlock laws.
Wisconsin Assembly Bill 266 and Senate Bill 222 would require any first time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .15, repeat drunk driving offenders, and anyone who refuses to take a sobriety test when asked to comply with the state’s ignition interlock law.
AAA feels as though strengthening the laws would stop offenders from driving on a suspended license and close a loophole where offenders can drive other vehicles that don’t have ignition interlocks. If an offender does drive another vehicle without an ignition interlock, they’d receive a stiffer penalty for doing so than the fine would be if they just weren’t complying with the ignition interlock program.
Ignition interlocks don’t just benefit the public by keeping drunk drivers off the roads, they benefit the drunk driving offender too. Instead of losing their driver’s license and not being able to drive for months at a time, an ignition interlock will let a Wisconsin drunk driver get back behind the wheel after a OWI conviction.
Stronger ignition interlock laws might be exactly what Wisconsin needs to stop people in the state from making the choice to drive drunk. That’s why AAA Wisconsin is asking everyone to back these bills. If they pass, Wisconsin roads will be safer for everyone.