Wisconsin gets three of five stars for its measures to prevent drunk driving.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is calling on lawmakers to require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunken drivers and legalize sobriety checkpoints in the state. A new report released by MADD rates Wisconsin on its progress of implementing drunk driving countermeasures; it shows that more needs to be done.
“The challenges that we have in Wisconsin is first we are the only state in the country that does not criminalize the first offense.” MADD Wisconsin Public Policy Liaison John Vose says as a result, there’s a lower deterrence factor for getting behind the wheel while drunk. Like Wisconsin, the nation as a whole also got three stars.
Vose says that indicates a need for increased efforts to reduce and eliminate driving while drunk. “If we’re still unable to criminalize the first offense, a very good tool that many other states use that’s not used in Wisconsin … is sobriety checkpoints.”
The state recently adopted enhanced penalties for those who drive drunk with kids in the vehicle, but MADD wants more ways to combat the practice. Vose says drunk driving costs the United States more than $132 billion annually.
NOTE: The Report to the Nation is being released in connection with the fifth anniversary of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:24