Wisconsin roads are in danger of becoming a lot less safe if recent legislation to weaken Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws is signed by the Governor. The bill, Wisconsin AB 839, proposes the implementation of a twice-a-day alcohol testing program that would allow drunk driving offenders back on the road without first installing an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
What is the twice-a-day testing program (Wisconsin AB 839)?
With the twice-a-day testing, drunk driving offenders would be able to obtain their Occupational Permit allowing them driving privileges as long as they agreed to provide breath samples to check for alcohol twice a day at a local police station or probation office. The way the program is set up, these individuals would have no accountability the rest of the time and as long as the alcohol was clear from their system by their next testing time, they could continue drinking and driving.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) supports ignition interlock devices for drunk drivers and has produced data showing they are the most effective way to prevent multiple drunk driving offenses. 50 to 75 percent of drunk driving offenders continue to drive even after losing their license, according to MADD. Many of those continue mixing drinking with driving. View more drunk driving statistics.
Ignition interlock devices are the only tool that can guarantee sober driving. In fact, according to MADD’s 2016 Ignition Interlock Report, ignition interlock devices have stopped over 156,000 drunk drivers from starting their vehicles in Wisconsin alone. Nationwide, they’ve stopped over 1.77 million.
Ignition interlock devices are extremely effective in preventing repeat drunk driving offenses. They allow offenders to resume a normal life while being able to drive to work and take care of their families. With a requirement to physically go into a location twice a day to provide samples, schedules will be disrupted and rehabilitation will be nearly impossible. This will result in people abandoning the program and spiraling downward into a system of consequences without the chance to recover. In addition, it leaves too many loopholes for people to continue drinking and driving.
This bill goes to the Governor’s desk now, where he will only have a few days to take action on it. If you are a Wisconsin resident, please fill out this MADD form to send a letter to your Governor opposing Wisconsin AB 839 today. Tomorrow might be too late. Please help protect our families and keep our roads safe!