MADISON -- Governor Scott Walker signed a bill into law on Wednesday, March 28, permanently revoking driver's licenses of people convicted of four or more drunk driving-related offenses.
The fourth offense must happen with 15 years of the previous conviction.
Those who lose their licenses and are caught driving will face a $2,500 fine, and up to a year in jail.
Below is a statement from Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), one of the authors of the bill, on this bill signing:
"This morning, Governor Walker signed SB 135 into law, which permanently revokes the driver’s licenses of individuals convicted of 4 or more drunk driving-related offenses. The bill was drafted by Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Representative John Spiros (R-Marshfield) to combat the problem of repeat drunk drivers.
“In just the last couple of weeks we’ve seen several 4-time drunk drivers in our area. It’s ridiculous and it’s got to stop,” said Wanggaard. “Thanks to 4-strikes-and-you’re-out, these offenders will either learn the lesson or lose their license forever. And if they drive while revoked, they will face up to an additional year in jail.”
Under the new law, if an individual is convicted of 4 or more drunk-driving related offenses, the Department of Transportation must permanently revoke that individual’s driver’s license. A drunk driving-related offense includes Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), homicide by OWI, homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, and any felony crime under the motor vehicle code and others. The fourth offense must occur within 15 years of the previous conviction.
“I know we need to do more to curb scourge the problem of drunk driving in Wisconsin,” Wanggaard added. “This is a meaningful step in the drunk driving fight. We need to get repeat drunk drivers off the road – permanently.”
The bill is not retroactive, although an individual who has been previously convicted of 3 OWI-Related offenses will have their license revoked after their next conviction. Offenders who drive after revocation would face a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail for the first offense. Second offenses could lead to a $10,000 fine and/or a year in jail."