State Assembly passes tougher penalties for driving drunk

MADISON — The state Assembly has passed a bill imposing tougher penalties on repeat drunken drivers.

The Assembly passed the measure 95-1 early Wednesday morning. The bill already has cleared the Senate. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.

The bill would make a fourth offense a felony regardless of when the charge is filed. Right now a fourth offense is a felony only if committed within five years of a third.

The legislation also would increase the maximum prison sentence for fifth and sixth offenses from three years to five. Maximum sentences for seventh, eighth and ninth offenses would increase from five years to seven and a half. The maximum sentence for a 10th or subsequent offense would rise from seven and a half years to a decade.