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Doyle wants roadside checkpoints for drunken drivers

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River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

For the first time, Gov. Jim Doyle has asked legislators to consider roadside police checkpoints, to catch drunken drivers.

His comments came a day after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's five-day series on the costs and effects of alcohol abuse. It was the second such newspaper focus in the Badger State this year.

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Doyle says people are more likely to be hurt by drunken drivers than to have their homes broken into.

And he said a limited, appropriate use of sobriety checkpoints would be useful.

The governor said the courts have set criteria for those checkpoints and Wisconsin must follow them to avoid discrimination in stopping drivers.

The state is one of 12 which do not allow the checkpoints.

Meanwhile, other lawmakers say the two newspaper series have created a growing sentiment across the state to crack down on drunken driving.

Rep. Tony Staskunas, D-West Allis, says he'll propose a bill to expand the use of ignition interlocks so that first-time offenders with blood alcohol levels of .16 or more would have to be sober to start their cars. It's already in force for many second-time OWI offenders.

Judges ordered interlocks 8,400 times last year.

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