The Role Alcohol Plays in Fatal Auto Accidents in Wisconsin

Our state’s placement on a humorous new list highlights the very serious role that alcohol plays in fatal auto accidents in Wisconsin. The annual “Drunkest Cities” list was dominated by Wisconsin cities, with Green Bay taking the number one slot, followed by Eau Claire, Appleton and Madison. The study, which was reported on the website 24/7 Wall St., found that 26.5 percent of the adults in the metro area of Green Bay report they regularly binge drink or drink excessively. Following #4 on the list, Madison, the six cities rounding out the top ten were:

  • Fargo, ND;
  • Oshkosh, WI;
  • Missoula, MT;
  • Grand Forks, ND;
  • Wausau, WI and
  • Lacrosse, WI.

More than Half of all Fatal Auto Accidents in Green Bay Metro Involve Alcohol

As you may have noticed, only three cities on the list are not located in the state of Wisconsin. To come up with the results of the study, 381 metro cities were surveyed over a 30-day period. The five variables used in the study were: whether the city has a college or graduate school, overall health of the citizens in the city, earning potential in the city, bars per capita, and binge drinking habits of those who say they drink. Drunk driving deaths were also factored in—the Green Bay Metro area is one of only five across the nation where more than half of all fatal auto accidents involved alcohol. That number, nationally, is only 30 percent, rather than 50 percent. In case you wonder which cities were the “driest,” that list includes:

  1. Provo, Utah;
  2. George, Utah, and
  3. Beckley, West Virginia.

Further Reading: Despite What You May Have Heard, Slowing Down to Text is Not Safer

Washington D.C. Follows Wisconsin Closely

Nipping on the heels of Wisconsin’s dubious honor of being on the drunkest cities list—multiple times—is the nation’s capital. Considering the past 30 days, a whopping 65.03 percent of D.C. residents admitted they had consumed a minimum of one alcoholic beverage. Wisconsin beat that record only slightly, at 65.33 percent. Wisconsin also topped the charts with the highest percentage of heavy drinkers (two or more drinks per day on a regular basis) at 8.7 percent, with Washington D.C. following closely at 8.03 percent.

As far as binge-drinking goes, Wisconsin once again came in at the top, with 24 percent of those surveyed admitting to binge-drinking, and North Dakota beat out Washington D.C. only slightly in this category at 23.9 percent. (D.C. came in at 23.5 percent. The tongue-in-cheek explanation as to why Wisconsin tops almost every drinking list around is that it is very cold, and there is little else to do. Washington D.C.’s “explanation” is an abundance of happy hours and the high stress load of politics.

DUI Accident Statistics in Wisconsin

Across the nation, about one in three traffic deaths involve a drunk driver. Between the years of 2003 and 2012 2,577 people were killed in the state of Wisconsin in auto accidents involving a drunk driver. In the nation, about 1.9 percent of adults reported driving after drinking too much within the past thirty days, while in the state of Wisconsin, that number is 3.1 percent. Perhaps one reason Wisconsin ranks higher in drinking and driving and drunk driving accidents, is that sobriety checkpoints are not allowed in the state. Although only a handful of states prohibit sobriety checkpoints, Wisconsin’s neighbors, Minnesota and Michigan, are among those that do not. Sobriety checkpoints have been proposed in Wisconsin, yet opposition is fierce. One of the arguments against sobriety checkpoints is that they consume significant public resources while not resulting in many arrests. Perhaps the greater concern is that of personal liberty—many innocent drivers are stopped and questioned without suspicion in order to “catch” an impaired driver.

Contact Our Milwaukee Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys

The Logo for Aiken & Scoptur, a Wisconsin injury law firmIf you or someone you love has been injured by a drunk driver in Milwaukee or anywhere in the state of Wisconsin, it is important to know that you are not alone. At Aiken & Scoptur, S.C., we work with credible expert professionals to investigate and document drunk driving accident cases. We fight aggressively for our injured clients. Contact us today!




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