Drunk Driver Drinking Beer while Driving a Car
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Assembly is set to take up two bills that would stiffen penalties for drunken driving.

The first measure would require anyone arrested for a first offense to appear in court. Currently a first offense is a civil violation, not a criminal one, and people can skip their initial court appearance.

The bill also would eliminate provisions in state law that allow second offenses to be treated as a civil violation rather than a misdemeanor if the first offense took place at least 10 years earlier.

The second proposal would establish a minimum five-year sentence for anyone convicted of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle.

Republican Rep. Jim Ott authored both proposals. The Assembly is set to take them up Thursday.