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Dem AG candidate Happ doesn't like making first OWI a criminal offense

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - One of three Democrats running for Wisconsin attorney general is not convinced it would be right to make first-time drunk driving a criminal offense.  

Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ said Thursday that one-time OWI convicts already get sanctions on their driver's licenses and higher insurance premiums.  

She said that making it criminal would increase caseloads for DA's offices that already short staffed -- create more litigation -- and cost the court system more money. Happ also noted that a first time drunk driver faces separate criminal charges when someone is hurt or killed in an OWI crash.  

Happ is running in the August primary against Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne and state Assembly Democrat Jon Richards.  

That winner would face Republican DA Brad Schimel of Waukesha County in November, for the right to replace incumbent J.B. Van Hollen -- who's stepping down after this year.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)