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Walker signs tougher drunken driving penalties

Published:Monday | April 25, 2016 | 9:19 AMAP
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, second from left, and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch are greeted by the governor's cabinet and staff at the State Capitol Madison.



Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill creating tougher drunken driving penalties.

The proposal makes a fourth drunken driving offence a felony regardless of when it occurred. Currently, a fourth offence is a felony only if committed within five years of a third.

The legislation also increases the maximum prison sentence for fifth and sixth offences from three years to five. Maximum sentences for seventh, eighth and ninth offences increase from five years to seven and a half. The maximum sentence for a 10th or subsequent offence will rise from seven and a half years to a decade.

Walker signed the measure yesterday. He said the bill sends a message that Wisconsin is serious about drunken driving. Wisconsin remains the only state, however, that doesn't criminalize a first offence.