Finally, we may see action to toughen Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws. Sure, we’ve heard that before, but legislation designed to do that went no where. Representatives Alberta Darling and Jim Ott have worked for more than a decade to toughen Wisconsin’s drunk driving laws. This legislative session may be the time it finally gets done. Some lawmakers in Madison are circulating a proposal seeking to criminalize first offense drunk driving. In Wisconsin, getting arrested for drunk driving the first time is not a criminal offense, but instead is the equivalent of a traffic ticket. Wisconsin holds the dubious distinction of being the only state in the nation to be so lenient with first time offenders. Even though the state has one of the highest rates of people driving drunk. This bill would sentence first time offenders to up to 30 days in jail. Darling and Ott have until next Monday to line up enough sponsors for their proposal to force a public hearing, the first step in trying to change the law. There may be more support among lawmakers this session because the bill has been amended so that if a person gets arrested for drunk driving once, and don’t get arrested for the offense again within five years, the charge would be removed from their record. Let’s hope that 2019 is finally the year that Wisconsin realizes it has a problem with drunk driving, and takes steps to stop it.