It might only be a ‘half-a-loaf’ as state legislators tackle drunk driving issues. Most legislators don’t take the issue of drunk driving seriously enough, according to state Representative Terese Berceau.
The Madison Democrat says there’s not enough support, for instance, for making first-time OWI a criminal, rather than a civil offense.”Everybody, I’m starting to think, thinks it’s just kind of funny,” says Berceau. “It’s something still, that within the legislature, it’s kind of ‘we can’t touch this.'” Berceau says, while that attitude seems prevalent among LEGISLATORS, the PUBLIC is demanding action on the issue. “Nobody wants ton go near it, even though the public now is saying ‘hey, it’s time to deal with these things. We’re ready.'”
Berceau says she’s particularly disturbed by the unwillingness to deal with the first time drunk driver. “People can kill the first time they’re out driving drunk,” she says. “We’ve had a lot of pressure to do something about it, make it at least a misdemeanor, and we can’t seem to get the legislature to go there.”
Berceau chairs the Assembly Committee on Local Affairs, which is considering several bills on OWI. She says the public is demanding action on the issue.
Submitted by John Colbert, WIBA