Most Wisconsin residents already know about the inherent dangers of drinking and driving. No shortage of media stories warning drivers of the possibility that an alcohol-related accident could lead to serious injury or death. An Eau Claire man might have learned this lesson a bit too late.
Now that 2013 is over, the Accident Records Unit of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is tallying up numbers regarding accidents on the state's roads. One of the first statistics the unit has released is the number of car accident deaths for the year. The results reveal that last year was the safest year the state has seen in some 69 years.
Not since World War II has the number of deaths due to car accidents been as low as it was as of Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. On that date, the number of Wisconsin car accident deaths in Wisconsin was at 519, which even beats the 2009 number of 542. The reduction is attributed to more traffic enforcement and education regarding the use of seat belts and the dangers of drunk driving.
Despite the amount of information available regarding the dangers of drinking and driving, many in Wisconsin continue to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. No one believes that he or she could cause a deadly car accident after drinking. Unfortunately, many drunk drivers do cause accidents that not only kill, but leave themselves and others injured as well.
It may or may not be public knowledge that Wisconsin has some of the most lenient drunk driving laws in the nation. Legislators are now trying to change that reputation by proposing three different bills that would toughen the penalties for driving under the influence. The hope is that tougher laws will cut down on the number of drunk drivers on the road--especially those drunk drivers who end up injuring or even killing people when they get behind the wheel.
It's no secret that drinking and driving can have dire consequences. Drunk driving accidents take hundreds if not thousands of lives every year across the country and in Wisconsin. One man was recently arrested in connection with a fatal accident in which authorities believe he was driving under the influence at the time.