MENU

      Wisconsin panel OKs drunken driving appearances

      The Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison is seen, Jan. 14, 2014.
      The Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison is seen, Jan. 14, 2014.
      MADISON (AP) - The state Senate's public safety committee has approved a bill that would require all first-time drunken driving offenders to appear in court.

      First-offense drunken driving in Wisconsin is a civil violation akin to a speeding ticket. Offenders can pay their fines without appearing in court.

      Republican Rep. Jim Ott's bill would mandate court appearances for first-time offenders. Any offenders who fail to show up would be found guilty, be subject to arrest and face an additional $300 surcharge on top of their drunken driving fine.

      The Assembly passed the bill on a voice vote in November. The Senate panel approved the measure unanimously Thursday, clearing the way for a vote in the full Senate.
      component-story-more_media_horiz-v1-01
      FOLLOW US ON TWITTER