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5 Drunken Driving Offenses Would Cost Drivers Their License Under New Bill

Proposal Targeting Repeat Drunken Drivers Has Bipartisan Support

Courtesy of the State of Wisconsin

Under a new bipartisan bill that targets Wisconsin’s high number of “habitual” drunken drivers, anyone convicted of five OWI offenses will lose their driver’s license for at least a decade.

State Rep. Eric Geinrich, one of the lawmakers behind the “five and out” bill, said the same penalty would apply to people convicted of three OWIs, if the person is also found guilty of other “serious vehicular violations.”

“The absolute revocation will be in place for a minimum of 10 years and will not allow for the issuance of an occupational license,” he said.

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Brown County Circuit Judge Donald Zuidmiller made the unusual move of addressing the media regarding the legislation: “It has to end,” he said.

He and other supporters say Wisconsin has a “pervasive problem” with repeat drunken drivers. The Department of Transportation says 822 people were convicted of fifth offenses last year.

The bill is also supported by Republican Rep. Andre Jacques of Green Bay and a number of police organizations. Mothers Against Drunk Driving have said it doesn’t go far enough.