Oct

20

Are strict DUI laws really that strict?

By Mary Ann

After four-year-old Jon Port’s death in 1991, a grass-roots movement began to get stricter DUI laws passed in Wisconsin.

Finally in 1999, a law was passed that made a fifth offense of drinking and driving a felony.  The Wisconsin government hoped this new law would keep repeat offenders of DUIs off the road.

However, the Journal Sentinel completed an analysis that found that less than half the people sentenced for a felony DUI in Milwaukee County go to prison.

The survey looked at all criminal convictions for people convicted of five DUI offenses.  There were 161 fifth offense cases from 1999 to 2006.

According to the report, only 70 defendants went to prison, while most got their sentence reduced by completing boot camps, treatment programs or petitioning the judge.  The survey also found that about 25% of the people with fifth-offense convictions have already re-offended at least once.

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