The following was sent by Dave Brandt of Ellison Bay:
On April 16, I’m going to give testimony at a public hearing at the state capital in favor of AB155. This is one of twenty bills before the state legislature this session, which in some way attempt to reform WI laws related to the sale or consumption (over-consumption really) of alcohol. State Assembly Rep. Garey Bies proposed the same minor reform bill in 2007, but it never made it to the Assembly for a vote.
Anybody who keeps up with state news knows that Wisconsin is now famous for – among other good things – being the drunkest state of all the 50. Door County has it’s own well known problem with over consumption. Our new Justice Center is filled mostly with repeat drunk driving offenders.
Door County has an opportunity to step up and support at least some of the efforts to reform Wisconsin law. We have some of the weakest laws in the country in this area. It is no surprise this is one of the most dangerous places in the nation to be on the highways after dark. Actually, Door County doesn’t have to simply wait for the state to act; it can address this need through local initiatives and reforms.
Whether Door County government becomes a leader in this remains to be seen. Whether we become involved at all (other than as a place to warehouse repeat offenders) remains to be seen.
In September 2006, my nineteen-year old daughter, Amanda, and a 20 year-old girl friend were both illegally served in a local tavern; both were killed in a car crash later that night and another young woman – a visitor to the county – was seriously injured.
Local officials said their hands were tied to do any more than impose a fine of less than $1,000.