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Loophole in current law allows drunk drivers to dodge installing Ignition interlock devicesSubmitted: 02/10/2020
Zack White
Zack White
Reporter
zwhite@wjfw.com

Loophole in current law allows drunk drivers to dodge installing Ignition interlock devices
EAGLE RIVER - Ignition Interlock Devices (IID's) are supposed to prevent convicted drunk drivers from starting their cars if they blow above a certain blood alcohol content level.

Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) said the current law has flaws when it comes to accountability.

"The thought is that the statute follows the vehicle that somebody owns and not the individual," said Wanggaard.

He said drivers have found ways to get around the law and not install courted ordered IID's

"The problem is that is these individuals just transfer any vehicles they own into somebody else's name," said Wanggaard. "They don't have the responsibility to put one of these devices on vehicles they own."


Under current Wisconsin law the maximum penalty for being caught without an IID is $200.

Sen. Wanggaard's bill increases the penalty to $600 with potentially six months of jail. 

The bill also attaches the IID requirement to the license of the driver, not the registered vehicle.

"It makes it easier for enforcement purposes and accountability for law enforcement side." said Wanggaard. "I don't have to worry about who owns the vehicle." 

Vilas County Sheriff, Joseph Fath said his department receives a list of people to keep a watch for.

"We get notices from the company that did the install and the time frame that the IID is supposed to be installed for," said Fath. 

Wanggaard has introduced versions of this bill in the past, but they failed due to technicalities between state and federal law.


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