Wisconsin Passes Stronger Ignition Interlock Law, But Is It Enough?
Wisconsin just passed two tougher bills on drunk driving last week, and it could change the state’s roadways for the better.
One of the bills promotes an extended requirement for Ignition Interlocks. An Ignition Interlock is a device that some DUI offenders must install into their car, dependent on their case details.
The device can detect the user’s breath alcohol concentration (BrAC), and if their level of consumption is too high, their vehicle will not start.
Two New Drunk Driving Bills in Wisconsin
The first bill in Wisconsin will extend the Ignition Interlock requirement to Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) offenders. Now, all first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or above, and all repeat offenders, must install the device into their vehicles.
30 states and D.C. have all-offender Ignition Interlock laws for offenders with a BAC level of .08 or above. These types of laws are proven to be a success in reducing the possibility of repeat drunk driving offenses.
The second bill involves OWI offenders’ driver’s licenses. If someone commits a fourth offense, the individual’s license will be permanently revoked. However, if it is a second offense with two other related vehicular offenses, one’s license could be revoked as well.
Wisconsin is the only U.S. state that treats first-time OWI offenses as a traffic ticket rather than a crime. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 193 drunk driving deaths occurred in 2016 in Wisconsin.
With a stronger expansion of drunk driving and Ignition Interlock laws, Wisconsin will see less impaired drivers on the road.
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