Attorney general candidate questions drunken driving change - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Attorney general candidate questions drunken driving change

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A candidate for Wisconsin attorney general says he's skeptical of making first-offense drunken driving a crime.

Republican Brad Schimel says he's worried criminalizing a first offense would overwhelm the courts.

Wisconsin is the only state where a first-offense is considered a civil violation.

Schimel says he's not sure if other states have seen any improvements.

He also says forfeitures that currently go to municipalities would go to the state, leaving municipalities in the hole and potentially leading to police layoffs.

That could lead to more drunken driving.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat, also is running for attorney general.

He said first-offense should be a crime.

State Rep. Jon Richards, another Democrat in the race, didn't immediately return a message.

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