After Father Loses Son, Backs OWI Bill
Posted: Jan 5, 2017 7:29 PM CDT | Updated: Jan 5, 2017 7:36 PM CDT
On a night when many are going out, that isn't the plan for Dan Peterson.
"I've got some friends coming over here this evening. We're going to have a nice time, but we're all getting older. I bet money that they're home by 10 o'clock," said Peterson.
In an already quiet neighborhood in Racine, it's a little quieter this year.
"He'd change your tire; he'd get your car running. He didn't have to know you from Adam. He'd just do it because he felt that's what he could do to help somebody," said Peterson.
Dan lost his big-hearted son James in June to a drunken driver.
"It's difficult, and it's a dramatic change in my grandchildrens' life. Dad is not there anymore for anything, and it's not fair," said Peterson.
It's the reason he's asking everyone to drink responsibly on New Year's Even, and every night of the year.
"If you have anybody in your life that you love, put them ahead of you and think of that instead of yourself and how much fun you want to have tonight," said Peterson.
Asking people to be responsible isn't the only thing Peterson's doing.
"I pestered Paul Ryan. I pestered Scott Walker. I pestered Van Wanggaard. Everybody started handing me names of who I needed to talk to, and that's how this whole thing happened," said Peterson.
He says he's knocking on lawmakers doors to make sure an OWI bill is passed at the state capitol.
"I just want to see something happen to change the laws so that something like this doesn't happen again," said Peterson.
Right now, he's behind what's known as the "5 strikes and you're out" bill. It is Assembly Bill 432, and proposes to revoke drivers license's of repeat OWI offenders.
"It is just totally unfair in my mind that a kid in my neighborhood could get sentenced to prison for some sort of property crime or low level drug offense, and somebody could kill another person drunk behind the wheel and get less prison time for that... I'm going to vote yes on this," said Rep. Goyke (D-Milwaukee) at the Judiciary Committee Executive Hearing on December 17.
The committee passed the bill unanimously. If it continues in the legislative process.. the next step would be the assembly floor.