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Politics & Government

State Assembly Considers Drunken Driving Bills

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The state Assembly is scheduled to vote Tuesday on three bills that crack down on drunken driving. 

One measure would bring Wisconsin in line with other states -- by criminalizing the first offense.  Currently, Wisconsin gives traffic tickets to first time drunken drivers and orders them to pay a fine.

Supporters say the change is long overdue -- Wisconsin is the only state that does not make the first offense a crime.

Opponents say they're concerned about additional costs the state may incur, if it sends more people through the criminal justice system. 

Also on the docket Tuesday is a measure requiring all first offense drunken driving suspects to appear in court.  Currently, they have the option of avoiding an in-person appearance, by simply paying their fine.