April 24, 2014

Bill targets OWI blood draws

A state lawmaker is pushing a plan that he says would restore the power of local law enforcement to have blood drawn as evidence from suspected first time OWI offenders.

State Representative Andre Jacque (R-DePere) says the change is needed because of a recent US Supreme Court ruling, which found that police have to obtain a warrant to order blood drawn from a drunk driving suspect as evidence. The problem is, warrants can only be issued in criminal cases and first offense OWI is treated as a civil case in Wisconsin.

AUDIO: Rep. Andre Jacque (:11)

Jacque says Wisconsin is the only state that treats the first offense that way. Without the change, he says police will have a hard time obtaining the evidence they need to clearly prove the level of intoxication of a suspect.

The bill is currently being circulated at the Capitol for co-sponsorship. A hearing date has not yet been set.

Brian Norton, WOMT