Apparently there's a new proposal by a handful of state legislators, one that claims "bipartisan support," that would make a first drunk driving conviction a crime instead of just a traffic violation, as it now (ridiculously) is.
About friggen time.
I would, of course like to hear more specifics about the proposal before throwing my full support behind it. What would the actual penalties be? And more importantly, there's a second part of the proposal that would allow for "roadside checkpoints" to screen for drunk drivers. I'm all for more policing to actually catch people in the act, but the idea of checkpoints is always fraught with danger, especially if it involves so-called random stops. Because it's really difficult to enforce the whole "random" part of the deal.
Other than that, though, I'm hopeful that this will be a step in the right direction toward seriously dealing with Wisconsin's abysmal drunk driving enforcement policies. I certainly believe that prevention and treatment programs should be a major part of any effort to curb the practice, but we also need to make sure that offenders are getting more than just a slap on the wrist. I'm sick and tired of reading about people being pulled over for their fifth, sixth, seventh (and so on) DUIs. It's just plain ridiculous. Maybe turning the first strike into an actual crime will lead to people either wising up or being taken off the road all together before it ends in tragedy.