OWI fines hefty, but deterrence effect debated

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2014 --- 4:56 p.m.

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) -- The fine for a first drunken-driving offense, including court costs and surcharges, can be as high as $1,000. But industry experts are questioning whether heavy fines serve as effective enough deterrents.

A Northwestern Media report (http://oshko.sh/1mpA4II ) says the actual fine ranges from $150 to $300. But court costs can add $600 to $700.

Nina Emerson is a former director of the Resource Center for Impaired Driving at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She says a hefty fine is a "hollow threat." She says options like sobriety checkpoints are what get people's attention.


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