Tag Archives: Drunk Driving

Marijuana Exceeding Alcohol Use in Drivers

drivingForbes.com recently published an article titled “More Drivers Now Stoned Than Drunk, Survey Says.” The article discusses the fact that operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana or prescription drugs is quickly exceeding drunk driving the United States.

Stricter drunk-driving laws and focused effort has helped decrease the number of drivers with alcohol in their system, as well as decreasing the amount of traffic-related deaths. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recent roadside survey of alcohol and drug use by drivers has found that one in four drivers tested positive for a drug in their system that could potentially influence their safety while driving.

Forbes.com outlines the survey in their article. It was conducted in Virginia over a 20 month period. It surveyed over 3,000 drivers who were involved in accidents, as well as a control group of 6,000 who drove safely. The survey found that the number of drivers who had marijuana in their systems jumped by nearly 50 percent since 2007. These results are likely due to the growing number of states with legalization or relaxed enforcement of marijuana laws. The survey also found that the amount of drivers with alcohol in their system on weekend nights was about 8 percent, which is significantly lower than previous years.

With some information still unknown, experts in the U.S. encourage continued support for reduced drunk driving. However, the subject of marijuana use and driving is something that is likely to be in the news more often as more states are gaining supporters for legalized medical and recreational marijuana.

See the original article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2015/02/10/more-drivers-now-stoned-than-drunk-survey-says/2/

Wisconsin Gets Tough on Drunk Driving

According to a 2009 study by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Wisconsin leads the nation in drunk driving incidents.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, reported that there were more than 44,000 drunk driving convictions in Wisconsin just last year.

2009 Wisconsin Act 100 , which took effect on July 1, 2010, is the Wisconsin Legislature’s latest attempt to eliminate drunk driving in Wisconsin.  The new law targets repeat offenders, and provides for more opportunities for treatment of alcohol abuse.

The new law also includes the following provisions:

  1. Ignition Interlocks will be required for all repeat offenders and first time offenders who have had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.15.  These devices make it impossible for cars to start if a person has any alcohol in their breath content.
  2. 4th time repeat offenses will now be treated as felonies if they are within 5 years of the previous offense.
  3. The new law allows judges to offer less jail time to offenders who choose and succeed in alcohol rehabilitation, thereby making treatment of alcoholism more accessible to Wisconsin’s long term drunk driving issues.
  4. 1st Offense DUIs will now be categorized as misdemeanors if a child under 16 years of age is present in the vehicle.
  5. Increased criminal charges and license reinstatement charges.

For more information on the problem of drunk driving in Wisconsin, check out the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s special report called Wasted in Wisconsin.  For additional information on the new OWI law, visit the State Bar’s Wisconsin Lawyer article by Andrew Mishlove & Lauren Stuckert.