They have hardly reached the finish line, but at least they have left the starting gate. A handful of Wisconsin lawmakers have spent the past ten years pushing for tougher drunk driving laws in the state. Each time, Rep. Jim Ott has come up empty-handed. But finally, two bills cracking down on those who get behind the wheel after one too many have been endorsed by lawmakers. One bill which passed the Assembly would make anyone who kills someone while driving drunk have to spend a minimum of five years in prison. Under current Wisconsin law, there is no minimum penalty for killing someone while drunk behind the wheel. Just last week, we witnessed the tragic death of a Milwaukee police officer, Kou Her, who was killed by a repeat drunk driver who ran a red light and crashed into Her’s car. Shouldn’t someone found guilty of such a tragic and preventable crime have to do at least five years? Another bill to pass the Assembly requires a first-time drunk driving offender to appear in court to face a judge. No more simply mailing in a fine, or sending legal representation. These bills have a long way to go to become law, as the Senate may not consider them until the fall. But it is a first step. Significant, even if it took ten years to make only these minor changes in Wisconsin’s OWI laws.