The Assembly will return to the Capitol in September to vote on a number of bills that have piled up over the summer, and Democratic Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) says one of their top priorities will to be to reform the state’s drunk driving laws.

Sheridan says he’d like to see a package of bills taken up and passed by lawmakers within the first two weeks of their return to the Capitol next month.

Sheridan says a major focus of that package will be to create stricter penalties for repeat offenders, which include making 4th offense DWI a felony and increasing license revocation periods. He also wants look at requiring ignition interlock devices for first time convictions.

Many advocates for tougher drunk driving laws have called for OWI to be a felony on the second or third offense. However, Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan says that would put a huge financial strain on the corrections system. Instead, he says the focus should be on drug and alcohol treatment for early offenses.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 1:00)

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