MADISON -- Wisconsin is one of only two states where injuring or killing someone while driving without a valid license is not a felony. Robert Dams is a former Greendale police chief whose son was killed in 2005 by an unlicensed driver who was issued traffic citations and remains on the road. “People just don’t want to take responsibility, I believe, for their actions, because there’s no penalty in the law,” said Dams. “Legislators have decriminalized all operating after revocation or suspension, unless it’s alcohol related.” Dams said the number of people whose licenses have been suspended or revoked has been steadily increasing the last several years. Wisconsin and Hawaii are the only states in which injuring or killing someone while driving without a valid license is not a felony.
Legislation from Milwaukee Democrat, Representative Peggy Krusick, would make causing great bodily harm while driving on a revoked or suspended license a felony. “I think there’s overriding concern as far as being sure that our roads are safe for all, and that people are not injured, or that there are not more deaths on our highways,” said Krusick.