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Drunken Driving Penalties by state Rep. Bob Gannon

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A recent writer to the paper questioned my position on the drunken driving related legislation in process in the legislature.
While on many issues I’m able to immediately give a definitive answer to how I would vote on the proposed legislation, on this topic I’m taking a more pragmatic approach.
I believe the reality is that the vast majority of multiple offenders of the OWI laws are alcoholics. An alcoholic that does not deal with their alcoholism is bound to be rearrested for other alcohol related incidents.
This has led me to co-sponsor legislation which increases penalties for multiple OWI offenses, and while I’m in favor of stricter punishments for all OWI offenders, I’ve decided to not immediately co-sponsor the other bills working their way through the capitol.
I believe it’s more credible to ask for changes to these bills in this manner, changes that hopefully will deal with the disease of alcoholism as a piece of the punishment, as well as better helping to keep the offender off the roads.
I recently met with the Washington County Judges to discuss the potential of our courts instituting an alcohol and/or drug court, as well as discussing the T.A.D. (Treatments and Alternatives Diversion Program) which is currently operated in Washington County.
We left that meeting agreeing to compile a more detailed history of the results of the current program, so that we may continue discussing the best alternatives available for keeping the worst offenders off of our streets.
While throwing the book at drunk drivers makes great political headlines, I believe the reality is that the disease of alcoholism needs to be dealt with as a part of the punishment for the violation.
Sobriety of these violators is our best chance of reducing the incidence of repeat offenders.
Bob Gannon
State Representative
58th Assembly District
262-689-8545 cell 262-334-2500 local office

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