A criminal first-offense for BAC's over .15 is being pushed. Also, one of Ott's bills would make all third and fourth-offense OWI convictions felonies. (Currently, only a fourth offense OWI/PAC committed within 5 years of a prior OWI is a felony). Another bill would increase the penalty for injuring someone in an OWI accident, raising the minimum jail sentence from 30 days to six months. The third measure requires at least a 10-year prison sentence for anyone who kills another person while OWI. The current law has no minimum prison sentence for such cases.
In what some might consider a pretty gutsy move, State Senator Jennifer Shilling (D) spoke out against the measures on the radio (WIZM) this morning, touting the additional millions of dollars in costs projected in order to prosecute and incarcerate the offenders. I say "gutsy", because OWI is generally a hot button issue for judge's and politicians.
I will be watching the developments closely. One thing is for sure, no legislator is proposing (or likely ever would propose) more lenient OWI sentences. This is not the first time Ott has proposed additional penalties for OWI offenders. It is only a matter of time before the penalties increase again.