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Drunk driving laws in Wisconsin unique

As residents of the state of Wisconsin may be aware, the state is somewhat unique when it comes to drunk driving since in most cases a first offense is not deemed to be criminal in nature. According to the Leadership Chair of Wisconsin for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, it is not even a misdemeanor. In addition, Wisconsin is one of only a handful of states in which it is illegal for law enforcement to setup sobriety checkpoints.

While this leniency is certainly good news to first-time offenders, it could be very bad news for others sharing the road with an intoxicated driver. This is because drunk driving is one of multiple factors that could result in a car accident occurring. As is the case with any type of motor vehicle accident it is possible that one caused by drunk driving could result in serious injuries to those involved, even death.

When a drunk driver causes an injury inducing crash, that individual might find that they are defending themselves in a civil lawsuit. This is because when negligent behavior such as drunk driving is behind this type of incident, the injured person could seek financial compensation for those injuries. Depending on the situation that compensation could be necessary to help cover expenses related to the injury.

Some in Wisconsin are seeking to change the approach the state takes regarding DUIs. To that end it is one of several states that is taking part in a new program that relies upon alcohol biomarkers to try to determine the likelihood of a driver getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. In a future post we will further explore the topic of alcohol biomarkers.

Source: The Badger Herald, “Wisconsin DUI policies lag behind other states’ in severity,” Nina Kravinsky, Dec. 4, 2014

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