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UPDATE: Wis. AG hopeful cited for drunken driving in 1990

UPDATE: Wisconsin attorney general hopeful Brad Schimel

Brad Schimel

UPDATED Wednesday, January 8, 2014 --- 12:37 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin attorney general hopeful Brad Schimel's campaign says he was cited nearly 24 years ago for drunken driving.

Darrin Schmitz, Schimel's campaign consultant, said Wednesday that Schimel was cited in May 1990 in Milwaukee County for first-offense drunken driving. Schmitz says Schimel hasn't been cited or driven drunk since.

Schimel, a 48-year-old Republican who currently serves as Waukesha County district attorney, said in a statement he made a mistake as a young person. He said he pleaded guilty, took responsibility for his actions and has worked to fight drunken driving as a prosecutor.

Schimel said Tuesday he was skeptical of criminalizing first-offense drunken driving in Wisconsin, saying such a move would jam the courts and result in forfeitures flowing to the state rather than municipalities.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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Posted Tuesday, January 7, 2014 --- 4:57 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Attorney general hopeful Brad Schimel says he's skeptical of making first-offense drunken driving a crime.

Wisconsin is the only state where a first-offense is considered a civil violation. Schimel, Waukesha County's Republican district attorney, said Tuesday he's not sure if the other 49 states have seen any improvements in public safety.

He says he's worried criminalizing first offense would overwhelm the courts. He also says forfeitures that currently go to municipalities would go to the state, leaving municipalities in the hole and potentially leading to police layoffs. That could lead to more drunken driving.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat, also is running for attorney general. He said first-offense should be a crime. State Rep. Jon Richards, another Democrat in the race, didn't immediately return a message.

Copyright Associated Press 2014


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