Getting five drunk driving convictions could result in a lengthy suspension of your license, under legislation being crafted at the state Capitol.
The bill would create a “five strikes and you’re out” approach to dealing with drunk drivers – after a fifth conviction, you would lose your license for at least ten years. State Representative Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay), a co-sponsor of the proposal, says “people make mistakes and have some bad judgment, but at a certain point, I think we need to recognize that some of these more irresponsible drivers have lost that privilege.”
The legislation was originally modeled after a law in New York, which permanently revokes the license of repeat offenders. Genrich says feedback on the bill suggested that would not be the best approach in Wisconsin, so they adopted provisions of an Alaskan law that allows someone who keeps a clean record for ten years and undergoes a drug and alcohol assessment to potentially drive again.
Current law does already allow for some drunk drivers to lose the ability to legally get behind the wheel, although that does not stop some of them from driving anyway. Gengrich admits that’s a concern, however he argues that “I don’t think that percentage is 100…if we’re able to reach a significant minority within that population, that would be a huge step forward.”
Genrich says he hopes to introduce the bill later this session.