New drunk driving law closes ignition interlock loophole

Governor Scott Walker visited Mount Pleasant on Friday to sign eight public safety-related bills into law. 

One of them eliminates a loophole for repeat drunk drivers, as well as some first-offenders. 

Assembly Bill 98 requires that "any driver requiring an interlock device cannot drive a vehicle that is not equipped with the device from the time of conviction until the order expires." 

That's a change from current law, which stipulates that the device be installed at the time an offender's license is reinstated. 

Under the new policy, if a person violates the Interlock Ignition Device operating privilege restriction, the court must extend the IID operating privilege restriction by six months for each violation. 

The law was authored by State Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Rep. Jim Ott (R-Mequon). 

"Our goal is not to have more people go to jail, or be incarcerated, it's to make our roads safer," Ott said. 

The Governor also signed the following bills into law this morning: 

Assembly Bill 138 – This bill allows the Department of Transportation to award grants covering the costs of advertising a safe-ride service, in addition to providing grants covering the costs of the safe ride service itself. Authored by Senator Patrick Testin (R—Stevens Point) and Representative Treig Pronschinske (R—Mondovi), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred in the Assembly on a voice vote. It is Act 125.

Senate Bill 202 – This bill prohibits an adult from allowing underage drinking on property the adult owns and occupies or property the adult occupies and controls. Authored by Senator Van Wanggaard (R—Racine) and Representative Andre Jacque (R—De Pere), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred in the Assembly on a voice vote. 

Assembly Bill 390 – This bill provides that a person's knowledge that his or her operating privilege is revoked is not an element of the offense of operating after revocation (OAR). Authored by Senator Van Wanggaard (R—Racine) and Representative Andre Jacque (R—De Pere), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred in the Assembly on a voice vote. 

Senate Bill 396 - This bill adds a separate penalty for patronizing a child prostitute under the age of 18.  Under the bill, the penalty for patronizing a child is a Class G felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and/or a fine of $25,000. Authored by Senator Devin LeMahieu (R—Oostburg) and Representative Joel Kleefisch (R—Oconomowoc), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred in the Assembly on a voice vote.

Senate Bill 300 - The bill makes it a crime for individuals to solicit sexually explicit material from underaged individuals. If an individual solicits sexually explicit material and believes the person is under 18, the individual is generally guilty of a Class I felony, which carries a penalty of 3.5 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000. Authored by Senator Van Wanggaard (R—Racine) and Representative Andre Jacque (R—De Pere), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred in the Assembly on a voice vote.

Senate Bill 253 – This bill clarifies that it is immoral conduct for a department-licensed individual to assist a school employee, contractor or agent to obtain a new job in a school or school district if the licensed individual knows or has reasonable suspicion to believe the job seeker committed a sex offense against a student or a minor. Authored by Senator Luther Olsen (R—Ripon) and Representative Cindi Duchow (R—Town of Delafield), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred in the Assembly on a voice vote. 

Senate Bill 308 - The bill increases the penalty for patronizing a prostitute to a Class I felony for persons convicted of a third or subsequent violation. A Class I felony has a maximum sentence of three years and six months, a fine up to $10,000 or both. Authored by Senator Dan Feyen (R—Fond du Lac) and Representative Joel Kleefisch (R—Oconomowoc), the bill passed the Senate on a voice vote and was concurred in the Assembly on a voice vote. 

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