Residents of Wisconsin can’t be too proud of the statistics these days. Wisconsin has the highest rate of drunken driving in the nation, according to the Department of Transportation. Alcohol killed 337 people and injured 5,500 in car accidents in the state last year. More than 42,000 drivers were convicted of drunken driving in Wisconsin in 2007, and that’s just the number of people that were actually caught and convicted. Wisconsin had a rash of hit and run accidents this past summer, many of them fatal, and many of the fleeing drivers were suspected of being drunk.
What is the cause of the high number of drunk drivers in some states, and what can be done about it? Many would argue that the laws for drunk driving in states like Wisconsin are very lenient. In fact, Wisconsin does not consider drunk driving as more than a misdemeanor until multiple offenses have occurred. Only after the 4th offense, or if someone was injured or killed, is drunk driving considered a felony. Countless attorneys in the area specialize in DUI cases, which may contribute to even repeat offenders getting off with little jail time.
Ignition Interlock System
Other states have taken steps, sometimes controversial ones, to prevent drunk driving, especially among repeat offenders. The ignition interlock system is one disputed measure that some states are working to enforce. This device would be installed in a repeat offender’s car and would not allow the vehicle operator to start the vehicle until they blow a blood alcohol level below a certain level.
Another option is for states to offer incentives to local tavern leagues that provide a SafeRide program. Often, states will give grants for volunteer drivers or taxis to take people home safely from the bars. But this solution can become useless when there is lack of interest or coordination.
Sobriety checkpoints, where police set up random roadblocks to check drivers, are banned in Wisconsin and 11 other states. The argument is that the checkpoints infringe on people’s rights, and they won’t necessarily catch the drunk drivers that know to avoid the blocked road.
The newest solution some are proposing in Wisconsin for repeat offenders is the alcohol monitoring bracelet, which would take readings of blood alcohol levels from the sweat on a person’s skin. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), these bracelets won’t prevent people from driving drunk; they simply can tell authorities that someone has been drinking.
Although there is criticism for these prevention or monitoring methods and none of them seems to be a fix-all, it would seem that something needs to be done in states like Wisconsin that struggle with this problem. Possibly the answer is a combining of these solutions in order to catch or prevent as many people as possible from driving drunk.
This article was written by Jared More
As the Director of Interactive Marketing for American Addiction Centers I am a forward thinking and big picture focused Online Marketing Specialist. Online marketing must be an organizational objective and cannot be compartmentalized into a specific field of pursuit. My objective is to build integrated teams of advertising, technical and marketing professionals that can inspire and influence entire organizations. Successful online marketing requires a group of talented professionals that truly enjoy and are very good at what they do, working together toward common goals. Often companies have disconnected teams of paid advertisers, technical folks, content development and organic marketers. A team that works together on paid, organic, social and traditional channels that also has the technical ability to make changes on the fly is a team that will quickly generate more exposure and revenue for their company. This cohesive approach allows for exponential growth in the rapidly changing digital space. I currently have the pleasure of working exclusively for American Addiction Centers, a rapidly growing leader in the addiction treatment space. American Addiction Centers has a fast paced, challenging and innovative marketing team that is an exciting place to be a part of.