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Politics & Government

Wisconsin May Step Closer to Other States' Drunken Driving Laws

The Wisconsin Assembly approved three bills Tuesday to toughen the state's penalties for driving under the influence.

Wisconsin is the only state that does not consider the first offense a crime.

One bill the representatives passed would make all second offenses misdemeanors and all fourth offenses felonies. Right now, the state downgrades those offenses - if police have not stopped the person for drunken driving for a certain number of years.

Under another bill the Assembly advanced, all first time offenders would have to appear in court.

A third measure would demand that ignition locks be installed on vehicles of convicted intoxicated drivers, promptly after the court orders the devices.