Report Finds Wisconsin Judges Lenient in Sentencing Chronic Drunk Drivers

November 14, 2014

A Gannett Wisconsin Media review has found some chronic drunken drivers in Wisconsin spend little time behind bars on felony charges due to lenient sentencing.

News-Herald Media reports there have been at least a dozen cases across the state where judges imposed sentences below statutory minimums. Several of the sentences were the result of a loophole created by a vaguely worded statute. Others were caused by judges who opted to disregard what lawmakers deem as mandatory.

Ben Kempinen, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, says judges who defy state law are not complying with the limits on their power.

The investigation determined some judges didn’t order probation for offenders upon their release from jail, while others lessened jail time by allowing offenders to serve other sentences simultaneously.

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