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Illinois mother pushes for stronger drunk driving laws

A woman from Illinois lost her son almost a year ago in a Wisconsin car crash. The driver of the vehicle he was riding in allegedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.117. The Illinois woman remains angry that, according to her account, the driver has yet to face any negative consequence, such as prison time or license suspension, in connection with the crash. Ever since then, she has reportedly devoted much of her time to lobbying for stricter drunk driving laws in Wisconsin.

Her efforts may soon pay off. Last week a Republican state representative introduced legislation to impose a maximum five-year prison sentence on a driver convicted of drunk driving homicide in Wisconsin. The bill now heads to the Rules Committee after the Assembly Committee passed it unanimously. 

In Wisconsin, the maximum penalty for someone convicted of killing someone by driving drunk is 40 years. However, the state representative who introduced the bill claims that the average drunk driving homicide sentence is to four years and eight months. 

A Democratic state senator expressed concern that mandatory minimum sentencing would take discretion away from judges in individual cases. Nevertheless, he claims that he supports several other drunk driving initiatives. The current bill is one of two proposals related to drunk driving to recently pass out of a Wisconsin state legislative committee. 

It is important to keep track of changes to drunk driving laws in the interest of remaining in compliance. Those who have difficulty in this regard, and face charges as a result, may find it worthwhile to contact an attorney. 

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