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Wisconsin's drunk drivers get no luck this St. Patty's Day

With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, as many bars across the state of Wisconsin stock up on green-themed alcoholic beverages, law enforcement across the state are gearing up for what is expected to be one of the biggest nights for DUI arrests this month. But while the state steps up patrols, one Milwaukee lawmaker says this isn't enough to keep innocent drivers safe from drunk-driving accidents.

We've all seen it on the news: a driver is killed after being hit by a drunk driver. But because sobriety checkpoints are considered unconstitutional in the state, officers often times don't catch all of the negligent drivers that kill dozens of innocent drivers every year. But if Sen. Tim Carpenter has his way, this would change, making Wisconsin roads that much safer.

To cut down on drunk-driving accidents, he proposes the use of DUI checkpoints on days that are generally associated with drinking. This would include New Year's Eve and the upcoming St. Patrick's Day which are notorious for alcohol-related crashes. Although some people argue that the use of these checkpoints infringes on a person's civil rights, others say that it could send the message that the state wants to further protect the other motorists on the roadways and will not tolerate reckless behavior such as drinking and driving.

Increased patrols are expected this St. Patrick's Day, though it's important to remember that they will not be able to catch all the violators across the state. Other drivers are encouraged to be extra vigilant when sharing the road and to use extreme caution so as to avoid becoming the victim of a possibly fatal accident.

Source: The Duluth News Tribune, "Wisconsin talks sobriety checkpoints for drivers," The Associated Press, Mar. 11, 2013

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