Assembly committee approves trio of drunken driving bills

MADISON — An Assembly committee has approved three Republican bills that would impose stiffer penalties and ignition interlock requirements for drunken drivers.

The proposals from Rep. Jim Ott and Sen. Alberta Darling would create a five-year minimum prison sentence for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, raise the minimum incarceration period for fifth and sixth offenses from six months to 18 months and prohibit all repeat offenders as well as first-timers with a blood alcohol percentage of .15 or greater from driving any vehicle without an ignition interlock.

The Assembly's criminal justice committee approved the minimum homicide sentence bill on an 8-4 vote, the minimum incarceration bill on a 7-5 vote and the ignition interlock bill on an 11-1 vote.

Committee approval clears the way for votes in the full Assembly.