Drunken driving bills going no where in legislature

Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 --- 6:12 p.m.

Wisconsin remains the only state in the nation where a first time drunken driving conviction brings a ticket and not jail time, after a session in which lawmakers failed to toughen penalties despite nearly a dozen bills before them.

The session is winding down, and the only drunken driving bill sent to Governor Scott Walker simply clarifies earlier legislation intended to force judges to sentence drunken drivers to a minimum amount of prison time in certain cases. It does not establish new penalties.

Democratic Senator Tim Carpenter co-sponsored many of the bills and says he doesn't know why they never came up for a vote. He says he spoke with the majority leader asking that they be brought for a vote but they never were.

He says that he's very disappointed that no legislation is passed, and says drunken drivers need to be held accountable.

Carpenter says if Governor Walker calls a special session, he will ask that drunk driving be included in those talks.

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