Bill would make jail mandatory for 7th OWI and higher - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Bill would make jail mandatory for 7th OWI and higher

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MADISON (WKOW) --  The Assembly Committee on the Judiciary held a public hearing Thursday on a bill that would impose mandatory minimum jail sentences on anyone who gets more than 6 OWI's.

Offenses seven through nine would result in a mandatory three years in jail.  A tenth offense or higher would result in four years in jail.

"Obviously if somebody's incarcerated that's one thing, they can't drive," said Rep. Jim Ott, one of the co-authors of Assembly Bill 180.  "But the other thing is, nobody's addicted to driving, and what we're trying to do is separate the two activities."

The bill would also require at least 30 days in jail for any OWI offender that causes bodily injury to another person. 

But several lawmakers say the bill would force the counties to pay for the increased jail incarceration on their own.  They want that fixed before agreeing to pass it.

The Assembly Committee on the Judiciary has not yet scheduled a vote on the bill. 

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