Columbia County OWI court up and running - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Columbia County OWI court up and running

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PORTAGE (WKOW) -- Columbia County has added an OWI court to its judicial system and judicial officials tell 27 News they hope to see their first OWI offender go through the new court next month.

Columbia County officials argue the court was needed because the area has higher drunken driving and binge drinking rates than other parts of Wisconsin.

this is where the real benefit comes from treatment court -- they have to have counseling, they have to be monitored as far as their alcohol use, they can at anytime be sanctioned by the OWI court judge

"They get 'special treatment' if you want to call it that. But the treatment, which might be special, as far as less incarceration, they have to do many types of things that an offender would not have to do if they were just going to jail," said Columbia Co. Circuit Court Judge Alan White. "This is where the real benefit comes from treatment court: they have to have counseling, they have to be monitored as far as their alcohol use, they can at anytime be sanctioned by the OWI court judge."

Danielle Lama will have more on the future of the recently created Columbia County OWI court and how the county worked with others to create the court's structure tonight in 27 News at 5, 6 and 10.  

  • Do you think OWI courts effectively bring down drunken-driving and binge drinking rates?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Yes
    12%
    33 votes
    No
    88%
    232 votes
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