Question: What role does politics play in OWI charges in Wisconsin?

Answer: It doesn’t play as much a role in charging in Wisconsin as it does in the laws and the policies that lead to it being very difficult to get an OWI dismissed or amended to a lesser charge. So, obviously, it’s not limited to Wisconsin, but politicians want to appear tough on drunk driving, tough on drunk drivers. They are, it seems like, constantly discussing and putting into place tougher laws and harsher penalties. And really in Wisconsin the statements that have been made and the law that’s in place, the role politicians have played primarily is to say that if there is reason to believe someone is operating while intoxicated, that person should be charged and should be vigorously prosecuted, cases should not be amended to non-OWIs, they should not be dismissed without very high levels of reasons. So that’s more the role that the politicians have played, I would say, in OWI cases.

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