State lawmakers have freed up more money to combat drunk driving, but will it be enough? The Joint Finance Committee signed off Tuesday on $1.4 million to pay district attorneys’ costs to enforce the tougher drunk driving measures passed by the Legislature. Some members of the committee questioned whether that’s enough. “We are asking them to come to work because we’re going to dump more cases on you, and we want you to prosecute them,” said Senator Luther Olson (R-Berlin). Senator Judy Robson (D-Beloit) said the tougher drunk driving laws will increase the workload of prosecutors who are already understaffed.
District attorneys around the state claim it’s going to cost much more – at least $2.5 million a year – to handle the increased DUI workloads. The budget panel rejected additional money to fund more assistant district attorneys, and district attorneys say their offices will continue to be understaffed.
Bob Hague (1:10 MP3) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (1:10 MP3)