The Wisconsin chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving wants to make first-offense OWI a criminal offense in Wisconsin, rather than a civil violation. MADD Executive Director Keri Kinnard says Wisconsin is the only state in the country where the first drunk driving arrest is a civil offense, not a crime. "That's the wrong message to be sending to these people," says Kinnard. "Drunk driving is dangerous, quite often deadly, and should be considered a crime, beginning with your first time."
Meanwhile, Governor Jim Doyle wants third drunk driving arrests to be felonies, not misdemeanors. That, after a former doctor killed a mother, her daughter and her unborn child in Waukesha County, allegedly while driving under the influence. Just two days before the mishap, Mark Benson faced his third OWI charge.