Will Wisconsin Lawmakers Approve Tougher OWI Laws?by Gamino Law Offices on 08/27/13
It’s no secret that getting charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) is a serious offense in Wisconsin. But while an experienced Wisconsin OWI defense attorney can help a suspect overcome their charges, the need for legal representation might just be at an all-time high.
Lawmakers are trying to tighten OWI laws in Wisconsin, claiming that the rate of drunk driving accidents and fatalities is increasing at an alarming rate. They believe that imposing a new legislation that calls for stricter OWI penalties can serve as a deterrent to drivers who are considering getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
According to a review of the proposed law by Attorney Carlos Gamino, one aspect of the legislation would change third and fourth OWI offenses from misdemeanors to felonies, another calls for mandatory sentences for OWI-related accidents that result in an injury, and a third calls for a mandatory 10-year sentence for drivers who fatally injure someone while driving under the influence.
The Green Bay Police Department is in favor of the tougher OWI laws in Wisconsin, claiming that this year alone, officers have made over 445 OWI arrests and 24 of these offenses were committed by repeat offenders. But while some law enforcement officials believe the legislation may increase safety on Wisconsin roadways, not everyone sees the tougher laws as a positive change.
Opponents argue the bills could come at a huge expense, costing as much as $226 million a year.
Due to the costs, it’s highly unlikely that the legislation will go through. OWI charges are expensive enough as it is and there are far too many chances for drivers to be falsely accused. But whether it goes through or not, at least anyone who is arrested for driving while intoxicated has the right to seek legal help with a Wisconsin OWI attorney in order to protect their rights.