Call for tougher OWI laws after two children killed by alleged drunken drivers
TODAY'S TMJ4 News Team
CREATED Oct. 9, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct. 9, 2013
SOMERS - Police say 29-year-old Marcus Thornton was driving drunk when he slammed into a van in Kenosha County.
Five-year-old Bailey McCollum died in the crash. His 20-year-old sister, Madison, was driving and was seriously hurt.
Court records show Thornton was arrested this summer for his 3rd drunk driving. The case is still pending but he didn't have a license and he wasn't supposed to be behind the wheel.
"Totally unnecessary death, totally tragic," said state Representative Jim Ott.
The Republican lawmaker is pushing six bills that would toughen the state's drunk driving laws, including a minimum 10 years in prison for drunk drivers who kill.
On Monday, a 10-year-old was also killed by an alleged drunken driver in Green County.
"We are looking at repeat offenders, those who cause serious injuries and those who cause death," said the Mequon lawmaker.
But some wonder if it's enough. Daryl says on Facebook: "This is ridiculous. When is Wisconsin going to wake up and treat drunk driving as a felony?"
Kathy writes, "Wisconsin needs stiffer penalties for drunk drivers"
Patricia says,"make it a FELONY on the 2nd and stop this!"
"Who do we want our laws to protect," said Ott. " Do we want to protect the person who gets behind the wheel and drives drunk or do we want the laws to protect the innocent 5-year old, 10 year old to 12 year or anyone?"
For now Ott's proposed bills are waiting for a full vote in the Assembly and Senate.