Everyone knows drinking and driving is wrong; however, that isn’t always enough to stop irresponsible individuals from choosing to do so anyway. As a result, innocent victims are injured or killed in drunk driving accidents every single day. If you find yourself to be one of these victims, our Milwaukee drunk driving accident lawyers are prepared to support you during this difficult time.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, we’ll do everything we can to hold that person accountable for their negligence. If you’ve lost a loved one in a similar situation, our wrongful death lawyers are here for you, too.
Drunk Driving Statistics in Wisconsin
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve an intoxicated driver. Even with those numbers, drivers still choose to get behind the wheel impaired. In order to truly understand the impact drinking and driving has on our state and country, let’s take a look at some statistics from the CDC and Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation.
- In 2015, 28,790 people were arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Wisconsin, including 275 individuals under the age of 18.
- Of those arrests, there were 24,000 convictions for drunk driving.
- Alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin injured 2,900 and killed 190 that same year.
- The majority of individuals who were killed in drunk driving accidents were males between the ages of 21 and 34.
- Nationally, 1.9 percent of the population reported driving after drinking too much; however, in Wisconsin, that percentage increased to 3.1.
The Dangers of Drinking and Driving
Any amount of alcohol in your bloodstream can impact your ability to drive. Even the smallest amount of alcohol can reduce your concentration. While driving, there are many things on the road that require your undivided attention. Any driver with impaired concentration and attention span abilities risks getting into an accident. Alcohol also affects how quickly a person is able to respond to different situations. Drinking slows reactions times that are necessary for safe road travel.
Excessive alcohol consumption affects motor skills, vision, and judgment. An intoxicated driver may have inadequate hand and foot coordination. It’s also likely they’ll suffer from blurred vision. If a driver is unable to operate the vehicle’s controls and see the road in front of them, the likelihood of an accident is significant. Because of the impaired judgment, a drunk driver may be unable to make a clear decision in the event of an emergency on the road.
It’s important to remember that while the legal blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.08 percent, alcohol begins to impact your driving abilities prior to that. The amount a person can safely drink has to do with a variety of factors, including their weight, age, gender, food consumption, and drinking habits.
Signs of a Drunk Driver
Because of the effects alcohol has on a driver, they often exhibit telltale signs to other drivers that they’re under the influence. These are often behaviors law enforcement look for when trying to get intoxicated drivers off the road. Signs of impaired driving include:
- Swerving. Seeing a driver swerve is one of the first signs they’re drunk. As we discussed above, a person’s concentration is severely inhibited when they’ve had too much to drink. Because of this, a drunk driver will have a difficult time driving in a straight line. They may be hugging the center lane, riding the shoulder, or weaving in between lanes with oncoming traffic.
- Driving Too Slowly. Drunk drivers will often drive slower than the speed limit in an attempt to not get caught by law enforcement. This does not work in their favor because driving too slow can be just as dangerous as driving too fast.
- Erratic Braking. A drunk driver is likely to make sudden and frequent stops because of their impaired vision and judgment abilities.
- Responding Slowly to Traffic Signals. If a driver is responding noticeably slowly to traffic signals, they may be intoxicated because they don’t have the ability to concentrate on their surroundings properly. Their impaired judgment skills may also prevent them from acting appropriately.
- Violating Traffic Laws. It’s likely a drunk driver will violate multiple traffic laws on their drive. They may run stop signs or traffic lights, turn illegally, tailgate, or neglect to turn on their headlights at night.
Contact a Milwaukee Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
There is never an excuse for driving under the influence of alcohol. If you’ve been injured in a crash because of a drunk driver, our Milwaukee car accident attorneys are prepared to help you recover by getting you the compensation you deserve. You may be eligible for awards to cover your medical expense, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case. We’ll explain your legal rights and options, so you can make the best decision for you.