Assembly to OK tougher sentences for repeat drunken drivers

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Repeat drunken drivers would spend more time behind bars under a bill the state Assembly was set to pass Tuesday.

The Republican-authored measure would increase the minimum mandatory sentence for fifth and sixth offenses from six months to 18 months. Judges could hand down shorter sentences if they find such a move would be in the public interest.

The state Department of Corrections has estimated the bill would create $13.6 million in additional operating costs annually. Still, the bill has drawn support from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association. The Wisconsin Tavern League has registered as neutral on the proposal.

The Assembly was scheduled to vote on the bill sometime Tuesday afternoon or evening. The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote in November. Assembly passage would send the bill to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.


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