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How Many Car Accidents are Caused by Drunk Drivers?

The Wisconsin Department of Health reports that Wisconsin residents consume 2.6 drinks per occasion, ranking third in the nation. This likely comes as no surprise to Wisconsinites, but with so much alcohol consumption, drivers also face an increased chance of encountering a drunk driver.

Learn about the prevalence of drunk driving in Wisconsin and how you can avoid getting into an accident with a drunk driver. If you are involved in a drunk driving accident, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. Passengers can also contact Wisconsin car accident lawyer Brian Hodgkiss to discuss their legal options for injured passengers.

What Qualifies as Drunk Driving in Wisconsin?

According to Wisconsin law, drunk driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) considers drivers under the influence if they cannot safely control their vehicles due to their consumption. If a police officer pulls someone over due to driving unsafely and discovers that person is under the influence of alcohol, the officer can arrest them.

You may forfeit your license for your first offense. For each subsequent offense, you can face up to six years in prison and a lifetime revocation of your license.

If a driver is convicted of three or more Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charges, the state lowers their acceptable BAC to 0.02. If the driver’s BAC is above that level, they will face arrest for OWI.

Number of Accidents Caused by Drunk Drivers

The Wisconsin DOT reported 5,174 crashes involving alcohol in 2015. Of these collisions, 2,872 resulted in injuries, while 190 involved fatalities. The average number of alcohol-related accidents in Wisconsin is 2.9 per hour. In 2015, 390 drivers died, 358 of whom had alcohol testing. Of those who tested positive, 122 were intoxicated above the BAC concentration of 0.08% or higher.

Most Common Times of Day for Drunk Driving

The National Safety Council (NSC) found that 68% of alcohol-related accidents happened at night. Conversely, only 28% of the accidents occurred during the day.

Locations for Alcohol-Related Collisions

Over 56% of the accidents were on urban roads. 30% of the accidents happened on principal arterial roads that connect urban areas to outlying suburban and rural neighborhoods.

What to Do if You See a Drunk Driver

You may be able to spot drunk drivers due to their erratic driving and unsafe maneuvers. Take these precautions to keep you and your passengers safe if you see a drunk driver on the roadway:

  • Keep Your Distance

When you see an intoxicated driver, reduce your speed and stay as far behind the other driver as possible so you have time to react. Passing a drunk driver in heavy traffic may put you at risk of an accident.

  • Record the Drunk Driver’s License Plate

Try to identify the license plate number and the make and model of the drunk driver’s vehicle. If you have a dashcam, you can refer to your video footage to find the vehicle description. Have a passenger write down the details for you or record the vehicle’s license plate with their cell phone.

  • Report the Driver to the Authorities

Once you know the driver’s license plate and vehicle type, pull over and report them to the police. If there is another person in the car, you can have them make the call for you. Provide the police with your location, the direction of the drunk driver, and the identifying information of the drunk driver’s vehicle.

Even when you take every measure to avoid a drunk driver, you may be involved in an accident with one. However, a drunk driver may flee the accident scene. You can work with a hit-and-run accident attorney to help you gather evidence and file a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage in your car insurance policy.

Drunk Driver Accident Lawyers at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers

Hiring an attorney with relevant experience can help you receive the compensation you deserve if you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver. The personal injury lawyers at Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers have years of experience fighting for the victims of drunk drivers.

Contact Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation.

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