News is breaking that Tea Party Attorney General Candidate Brad Schimel, who yesterday voiced his opposition to criminalizing first-offense drunken driving incidents, was previously cited for drunken driving.
Schimel yesterday offered some bizarre reasoning behind his opposition to criminalizing first offenses, stating that making the offense a crime could lead to an increase in drunken-driving fatalities and cause local governments to lay off police officers.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is today reporting that Schimel, currently serving as district attorney in Waukesha County, received a citation in May of 1990 in Milwaukee County when he was 24. At the time, Schimel had recently completed an internship with the Waukesha County district attorney's office. Six months later, according to the Journal Sentinel’s review of Schimel’s resume, Schimel was hired as an assistant district attorney in that office.
Wisconsin is the only state in the country in which first-offense drunken driving incidents are treated as traffic citations and not crimes.
“Not only is Brad Schimel making ridiculous claims that harsher penalties for drunk driving would cause an increase in drunken-driving fatalities and could lead to officer layoffs, he's omitting a key fact -- Schimel himself was convicted of drunk driving,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. “Drunk driving is a critical public safety issue and Wisconsinites deserve a top low enforcement officer who is open and honest about how best to address it."