WAUWATOSA, Wis. (WTMJ) – Recently released dash cam video shows a suspected drunk driver stumbling from a Wauwatosa, Wisconson squad car – the woman’s ninth DUI arrest.
The driver remains jailed on a $20,000 cash bond, and there are questions about why she was still driving on a valid driver’s license after her 8th DUI arrest just six weeks ago.
Driver:”I just wanna go home.”
Police say Stephanie Couillard already had hit a parked car, then took off with the owner yelling at her and calling 911.
About eight blocks from the hit and run, police finally got her to pull over. When asked for her driver’s license, according to the criminal complaint, she gave them a credit card instead.
“We get these repeat offenders over and over. But, I don’t know if I’ve had too many that have had nine arrests. Nine, and she’s still out there,” said Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber.
Equally frustrating – Wauwatosa had to let Couillard keep her license after her 8th DUI arrest in August while they waited for blood alcohol results from the state crime lab.
“We’ve found the crime lab has been always good to us if you need something done in a hurry. But there’s such a backlog of cases everywhere, because that’s the society we live in, we’re always generating more arrests and you know, the courts demand more from us,” said Chief Weber.
Could this help? A “five strikes and you’re out” bill takes away the license of a fifth-time offender for ten years, no exception. Right now, repeat offenders can get an occupational license.
“Well I mean there is a period where you lose your license, but for a lot of folks, they’re able to get the occupational license back pretty quickly and so we just don’t feel like it’s a severe enough penalty,” said Wisconsin State Representative Eric Genrich of Green Bay, who is sponsoring the bill.
In fact, repeat offenders are sometimes getting that occupational license within just a few months of their arrest. State representative Jim Ott proposed another OWI bill, making a third-time offense a felony. He’s got a public hearing on that Thursday in Madison.