Category: Drunk Driving

Memorial Day weekend has a historically higher alcohol-impaired traffic fatality rate than the rest of the year nationwide. In the year 2020, alcohol impaired traffic fatalities were the culprit of 30% of all crashes, where they were the cause of 41% of the crashes over Memorial Day weekend in 2020.

The NSC (National Safety Council) is estimating that there will be about 450 fatalities this Memorial Day weekend (Memorial Day Alcohol-Impaired Driving Statistics). If the statistics are similar to those of 2020, about 185 of those will be caused be alcohol-impaired driving.

Of course, we all hope the statistic is entirely wrong and nobody will lose their life, sadly that will most likely not come true. One way people can try to keep themselves and their loved ones safe is by wearing their seat belts. Studies show that seat belts are 45% effective in preventing fatalities for passengers riding in the front seat of the car. The NSC estimates that seat belts will save 178 lives this Memorial Day weekend, and that an additional 104 lives could be saved if all people in the vehicle wore seat belts.

Stay safe this Memorial Day weekend. Be sure to have a designated sober driver if you will be drinking, and make sure everyone in the car is buckled up before the car is put into drive.

The breath tests administered when someone is under suspicion of drunk driving are so entrenched in our society that the Breathalyzer brand has reached the level of Kleenex, becoming the common name used for all breath tests.

You may know the name Breathalyzer, but we think the following three facts are crucial for you to remember if an officer stops you on suspicion of drunk driving.

 1. You Can Choose Not to Submit to a Breathalyzer Test

You are within your rights to decide not to submit to a breath test unless the police have a warrant, but there are consequences to making that choice. Refusing to submit to a breath test can result in the revocation of your driving privileges. You will have 10 days to request a court hearing after refusing a breath or blood test.

 2. You Will Have To Make That Choice Without the Advice of a Lawyer

Your fifth and sixth amendment rights generally don’t apply to traffic stops. Telling the officers that you wish to speak to a lawyer before submitting to a test can be considered a refusal, exposing you to the consequences that come with that decision.

 3. All Tests are Not Treated Equally

The portable breath test administered during a traffic stop is considered a “preliminary breath test”. The “official” breath test is administered using different equipment. Refusing the preliminary breath test will typically not result in the revoking a driver’s license, but refusing the official test will.

We are in the midst of a very dangerous time on Wisconsin roads and highways.

OWI arrests tend to be at their highest in the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This makes sense, as the holiday season is the perfect time to eat, drink and be merry. Whether you are attending a company party, meeting up with friends, or catching up with your loved ones, there is no shortage of opportunities to imbibe socially during this most festive time of year.

The good news is that it has never been easier to get home safely without driving under the influence. It is no longer a valid excuse to say “easier said than done” when reminded not to take the risk of drinking and driving.

Keep the following tips in mind this holiday season to stay safe and avoid spending Christmas morning in the drunk tank:

  • Plan ahead:
    Be honest with yourself. If you are going to have a few and cut loose, plan a sober ride in advance. This could be in the form of selecting a designated driver for the evening, scheduling a taxi ride, or keeping your phone handy so you can catch an Uber after last call.
  • Pack your walking shoes: The viability of this option depends on the weather, but a brisk walk home sure beats walking into the station in handcuffs.
  • Drink plenty of water: It’s a good idea to alternate glasses of water with alcoholic beverages. It will help slow your alcohol intake and it’s good to stay hydrated.
  • Arrange a ride for you and your car: There are various local services available that will drive you and your car home at the end of the night. This has two benefits: you get home safe and don’t have to get a ride back to retrieve your car the next day.

Our advice on drunk driving is simple: just don’t do it.

You may be tempted to pay the fines, jump through the hoops and move on with your life. That course of action can expose you to criminal charges and the collateral consequences that come with having a criminal record. Additionally, any OWI can result in the suspension of your license, mandatory alcohol assessment, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. It is essential to have an attorney looking out for you regardless of whether this is your first brush with the law.

Your attorney's experience can make all the difference when your future is on the line. Learn how attorney Jeffrey Kippa can help you move forward.

Call 920-733-1100