MADISON (WKOW) -- Several bills that could effect how Wisconsinites consume alcohol are up for discussion at the state capitol Thursday.
Lawmakers are weighing new bills that would make a first drunk driving offense a misdemeanor if the driver's blood alcohol level is more than .15. Authorities could also seize drunk drivers' cars and require court appearances.
The Republican-authored proposals would also change third and fourth offenses from misdemeanors to felonies, but the State Department of Corrections estimates that would drive up the agency's operating costs more than $225 million a year.
If the bills are approved it would clear the way for a full assembly vote.
State representatives will also hold a public hearing to discuss penalties for underage drinking in Wisconsin. The proposed "Brown Jug Bill" would allow bar owners to take underage drinkers to court if they purchase alcohol from their business.
If found guilty, the underage drinker would have to pay the business owner $1000.
The Cap Times says those opposed to the bill say underage drinkers are already subject to a fine and that it is the responsibility of the store owner to prevent underage consumption.
Thursday's hearing will be at 1:00 p.m. in room 201 at the state capitol.
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