The battle to keep drunk-drivers off of Wisconsin roadways has been a hard fought battle that has not come without its losses. According to the Century Council, Wisconsin police arrested nearly 28,800 people for driving under the influence across the state. While impressive, in that same year, an estimated 196 people lost their lives because of drunk drivers. And according to law enforcement and state lawmakers, a majority of these deaths could have been avoided had tougher laws been in place.

That’s why lawmakers in the Wisconsin Assembly passed three new bills on to the Senate that would not only give law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on drunk drivers but allow for tougher penalties designed to deter repeat offenders as well. “It’s time to send a message that enough is enough,” says the district of attorney of Douglas County.

The pain of losing someone as a result of a drunk-driving accident is often overwhelming because they are easily preventable. Some drivers are under the impression that they are safe to drive if they consume one drink. But as readers of our blog will tell you, deciding to drive even after one drink is a negligent act and can result in a serious accident.

While we know that not every driver will take the increase in drunk-driving penalties seriously, the hope is that for a number of drivers the fear of tougher penalties will make them think twice before becoming intoxicated and getting behind the wheel of a car. In the end, the hope is that Wisconsin residents will see a decrease in the number of drunk-driving fatalities in the years to come.

Source: The Northland’s News Center, “Wis. Assembly passes new OWI bills; Superior Officials React,” Raeanna Marnati, Nov. 11, 2013