By Paul Schmitt
Wisconsin lawmakers are considering new drunk driving laws that would include possible seizure of a vehicle by a repeat offender. Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle is not a big proponent of that possible law because of the effect it would have on others who may also use the seized vehicle but would like to see Wisconsin make first-time offenders face criminal charges.
Operating while intoxicated (OWI) is not a felony in Wisconsin until the fourth offense. A first offense is a municipal ordinance violation and does not require the driver to appear in court. According to the Wisconsin DOT, penalties for operating a motor vehicle while being intoxicated, range from a forfeiture and license revocation for a first offense, to up to six years imprisonment, three-year license revocation and possible seizure of vehicles for subsequent offenses by the discretion of the judge.