Monday, August 17, 2009

More Than 100 Drunk Driving Convictions Every Day In Wisconsin

By my math - - more than one every 15 minutes.

And Wisconsin is still dragging its feet reforming its notably weak OWI statutes?

Here is how the state Transportation Department crunches the numbers that make Wisconsin the number-one state in the nation for drunken driving:

WisDOT: Connector Express -- Volume 10, Issue 138/17/2009 Nationwide crackdown on drunken driving set for Aug. 21 – Sept. 7

Over 300 law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will be stepping up patrols to arrest impaired motorists as part of the nationwide “Drunk Driving Over the Limit Under Arrest” crackdown from Aug. 21 through Labor Day Sept. 7.

Last year, alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin killed 234 people and
injured over 4,300.

Research has shown Wisconsin has the highest rate of drunken driving in the nation.

About 37,000 drivers were convicted of drunken driving in Wisconsin in 2008.

The federally-funded initiative will include enhanced law enforcement patrols combined with targeted media messages.


Anonymous said...

You know you keep bringing this up but I tell you that the current ads on television - who do they really convince of anything. Anybody that drinks and drives may do it for 20 years before ever being pulled over. So to say that if you drink and drive and you are going to get caught is just not reality.

A message where this is what happens to your family or your job IF you do get caught that might be a message that would resonate.

The problem with all the convictions at the highest level like the Attorney General, police chiefs etc and the publicity is there is a certain element of the population that say "wow I didn't know so many important people were doing the same thing as me".

I repeat myself - but you have too - that you need more than one solution to this problem. You need more than one message. And you need to speak to more that one personality type.

The most dangerous segment might need enabling to get to their individual personal crisis that pulls them back to reality without killing someone. Like driving them from bar to bar.

And then you have the crazy problem that so many people are getting DUI that they may be on the jury at your DUI trial and let you off.

So, I get that you want to tackle this problem. I was horrified at the death of the high school vice principal and her child. So I get the problem.

You know the greatest enablers of this problem may be the families. It certainly seemed to be in the Doctor's case. Messages targetted at them may be more effective.

Until drinking is completely uncool this is going to be a problem.

James Rowen said...

To Anon: I have argued that there needs to be multiple approaches: education (I mean in the early school years, not merely TV ads), treatment, and enforcement.

I'm not sure what you mean about driving people from bar to bar. That's enabling++.

It isn't that drinking needs to be tagged as uncool.

It's that in Wisconsin, drinking and driving is tolerated and encouraged by a law treating first time offenses with a ticket only.