Thursday, December 13, 2012--5:40p.m.
DANE COUNTY--We've all heard stories of people with long histories of drunk driving--and people always wonder how such a thing happens.
We decided to talk with a member of a local sheriff's department traffic enforcement team about this issue. He filled-us in on Wisconsin's laws for drunk driving. He says the laws reflect the people who live here--and that the people who live here have a drinking culture.
He says it's not a criminal offense for first timers--instead they receive what's basically a ticket. He says the fine for a first offense is expensive--it's in the thousand dollar range, but he says in other states there's the potential for jail time. He says Wisconsin has lighter laws than some places, but adds that they were recently strengthened. "Any first offense person that was arrested with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or greater is required to have ignition interlock device installed in their car for the period of two years," said Deputy Steven Mueller, of the Dane County Sheriff's Office.
Again, it takes a blood alcohol concentration that's nearly double the legal limit to prompt a mandatory ignition interlock device after a first offense.
That's a topic that the National Transportation Safety Board is talking about this week; they're recommending all states make them mandatory for any person who has an alcohol-impaired offense.