Tuesday, January 27, 2009

State Of Denial: OWI 'Reforms' Still Treat First Offense As A Ticket

Wisconsin legislators continue to contort their OWI 'reform' bill-drafting to let state drivers have a privilege extended nowhere else in the country - - the issuance of a ticket for a first-time-caught offense.

Under these possible changes, some, but not all second-time offenders would be required to install an ignition breath device, and some, but not all third-time offenders would be charged charged with a felony.

Some, but not all in both cases because the proposed reform law has loopholes wide enough for a tipsy motorist to plow right through.

When it comes to this proposal, a timid legislature still gives the advantage to the state's drunk drivers.

1 comment:

dadofone said...

While I cannot site a study to back my premise, having lived my entire life in a very popular WI tourist destination, the traditional supper club/small rural tavern and more recently, the upscale food/wine establishment, business sector, relies on plying patrons with drinks while waiting to be seated for dinner, or selling wine with the meal for a very large part of their annual income. For many tourists, the alcohol consumption, in a relaxed, rural setting is a major factor defining the quality of their vacation experience.

This is the, "industry," that is the bread and butter for the constituents of so very many of our state legislators. In a very direct sense the legislators are following the wishes of their constituents, whether tavern league members (or not) and the many employees of these establishments.

In a very direct sense, stricter DWI penalties are seen as and regarded as, in a real ingrained and still largely unspoken understanding, as a potential detriment to, "business," and everyone's livelihood.

I have ideas as to where to proceed to minimize the negative effects of drinking and driving, but these would be an expense to and a responsibility of the businesses serving and selling alcohol, ideas that I feel would be unlikely to be legislated or voluntarily accepted, ever.