New Wisconsin Law Requires Three Years for Chronic Drunk Drivers

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Drunk driving accidents are devastating and possibly life-threatening. Victims of these accidents can be left permanently injured or worse. A new Wisconsin law is taking action to discourage drunk drivers and keep roads safer. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that chronic drunk drivers should be sentenced to a minimum of three years in prison.   The case that spawned the new ruling began in 2010 in Monroe County, Wisconsin. The defendant pleaded guilty to his seventh offense of drunk driving and asked for probation. He was sentenced to three years in prison and three years probation.   The defendant appealed and won, however. The 4th District Court of Appeals decided the previous judge was mistaken: the law does not explicitly require a three-year prison sentence for chronic offenders and the defendant should be re-sentenced. The Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed that ruling 7-0 Tuesday.   According to the Associated Press, the new ruling makes the state law much more clear. Previously, sentencing laws for chronic offenders could be interpreted differently by local judges.   Now, a judge is required to sentence seventh-time drunk driving offenders to at least three years in prison. Ten-time offenders will be sentenced to at least four years.   “The mandatory three years also fits with Wisconsin’s system of gradually more severe punishment for chronic offenders,”  the Associated Press reported.

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