MADISON — The state Assembly has refused to concur with a bill that would stiffen penalties for repeat drunken drivers.
The bill would increase the minimum time in prison for a 5th or 6th offense from six months to 18 months. Prison officials estimate the change would generate $13.6 million in additional operating costs annually.
The Senate passed the bill last week. Republican leaders in the Assembly tried to place the bill on their agenda Tuesday during a floor session. But they couldn't muster enough votes to overcome Democrats' objection.
Democratic Rep. Mark Spreitzer told Republicans that his colleagues objected to the bill because it doesn't include funding for treatment. He says without that piece people would just spend 18 months behind bars, come out and drive drunk again.