Assembly passes bill to up penalties for repeat drunken driving


A bill that would permanently revoke the driver’s license of someone who commits four or more OWI offenses cleared the Assembly tonight on a 84-10 vote.

The legislation is one of a series of law-and-order bills that have passed the chamber in recent days, as lawmakers yesterday signed off on its $80 million plan to close Lincoln Hills by 2021 and a host of other bills from the so-called “Victim Prevention Package” aimed at cracking down on certain offenders.

Meanwhile, today’s bill, AB 197, also would permanently revoke driving privileges for those who commit two or more OWI offenses and has two more of more “qualifying convictions.” Those include certain homicides that involve use of a motor vehicle and some felonies that include the use of a motor vehicle.

The bill previously passed the Senate in November with unanimous support. Still, lawmakers today adopted a new amendment to the bill, meaning it has to again get approval from the Senate before heading to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk.

Voting against the bill were nine Dems and Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake.