Casper Police Chief Wants Stricter DUI Penalties [AUDIO]
Crime is up in Casper including D-U-I arrests. Casper Police Chief, Chris Walsh, brought the discouraging numbers to Casper city council this week along with a proposal for stiffer penalties for those who drink and drive.
"We see DUI increasing throughout the city and we've seen this trend climb over a period of several years. Last year, Chief Pagel spearheaded the Tipsy Taxi program in hopes that if people have an opportunity to get a ride home if they've had too much to drink, that they would take it and we'd see a reduction in DUIs. The reality is that we haven't."
Casper Police Chief, Chris Walsh, is recommending a tightening of Casper's City DUI Ordinance that would first of all criminalize refusing a breath test. He also proposes that a first offense with blood alcohol above .15, result in a mandatory 7 day jail sentence, along with counseling and a $750 dollar fine. A second offense; 30 days in jail.
" I think with very strick penalties through our municipal court system that we might send the message, 'Do the right thing, get a ride home, and we don't put people in danger.'"
As a possible city ordinance, Council questioned the limits of what a municipal court can do and whether the so-called Home Rule clause would allow for adoption of stiffer penalties, in particular, the criminalization of breath test refusal.
"The city Attorney's office does need to review it. It is a unique situation. I think Laramie is the only other municipality in the state that has stricter structured sentencing like this. The city attorney's office is going to review those things and give city council a recommendation."