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Lawmakers hear emotional testimony on bills that crack down on drunken driving

State lawmakers spent several hours Tuesday listening mainly to people who demanded tougher drunken driving laws.

The Assembly's Public Safety Committee held a hearing at State Fair Park near Milwaukee on a package of nine OWI reforms.

They include mandatory ignition interlocks for all repeat offenders and many first-timers, and making four-time OWI a felony if the most recent offense is within five years of the last one.

Laurie Wroblewski who lost her daughter to a five-time drunken driver 20 years ago, said the crackdowns should be stronger. Many agreed.

But Democrat Tony Staskunas of West Allis says there are things the Legislature will probably never pass - like making a first-time offense a crime.

Also, he said it would cost an extra $375 million a year in prison costs to make three-time drunken driving a felony, and that's not practical with the state's massive deficit.

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