Friday, May 3, 2013
Wisconsin's drunk driving-related incidents are the highest in the United States and state Legislators have crafted six bills to confront the issue, but they carries a hefty price tag.
Some state Republican Legislators want to toughen the laws for habitual drunk drivers and first-time drunk drivers if they cause an injury or killed someone, but the price tag for those laws could cost taxpayers up to $236 million, according to a story in the Wisconsin State Journal. Rep. Jim Ott (R-Mequon) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) have introduced six bills to the Senate and House. The bills would: Because of the jail time provisions, the state expects to have to build 17 facilities that would each house 300 people. "A fiscal estimate from the state Department of Corrections put the cost of the bill regarding third and subsequent offenses at between $169 million and $204 million annually. Other agencies also weighed in, …
Monday, January 21, 2013
What's blocking Wisconsin from implementing new, tougher laws against drunken driving? It could be "the dollar factor."
Mark Grapentine is a seasoned observer of state politics. He was an aide to then-state Rep. Scott Walker and a policy adviser to then-Gov. Tommy Thompson. For the past decade, he’s been a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Medical Society. In this capacity, he’s pushed for tougher state drunken driving laws — and noticed that, despite an absence of pushback, these laws have stayed mostly the same. “It has been interesting to watch how there has been a lack of progress in an area where there seems to be a tremendous amount of agreement on the need to do something,” Grapentine says. Wisconsin remains the only state where first-offense drunken driving is not a crime, although the civil penalties include license suspension and substantial fines. Two …
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Alberta Darling, Brad Courtney and other Wisconsin Republicans mobilize volunteers at a pancake breakfast at the North Shore GOP Victory Office Sunday afternoon.