Drunk driving is illegal in all 50 states, and the consequences are very serious if a person is caught driving under the influence. Drunk drivers do not only put themselves at risk when they get behind the wheel, but they also endanger everyone else on the road. While people’s opinions about how much alcohol is necessary for them to be considered “drunk, ” the law is very clear about the level of intoxication at which it is illegal to drive.
What Are the Wisconsin Laws Regarding Drunk Driving?
The state of Wisconsin has a specific definition of what is considered drunk driving, and there is little room for ambiguity. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, it is illegal for someone 21 and over to operate a car, truck, or other motor vehicle under the following conditions:
- They have a blood/breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more.
- They are under the influence of an intoxicant.
- There is a measurable amount of a controlled substance in their system.
- They are under the influence of a drug or controlled substance.
These restrictions are different for those with previous offenses and those under the age of 21. Drivers that have three or more convictions for operating while intoxicated (OWI) can only drive if they have a BAC of 0.02% or lower. Individuals under the age of 21 cannot drive with a BAC of 0.01% or higher.
How Does Drinking Affect Driving Ability?
Any level of alcohol in the bloodstream can affect one’s driving abilities. Studies have shown that there are a few specific areas that take a hit when alcohol gets added to the mix:
- Slow reaction time: Alcohol impairs how quickly one can react to situations, making accidents extremely likely. If one cannot adequately respond to fast-paced situations, they definitely should not be behind the wheel.
- Lack of coordination: Similar to the point above, body movement is crucial to driving safely. Alcohol can impair eye, foot, and hand coordination, all of which are necessary to drive a car.
- Difficulties with concentration: Driving requires a person to pay close attention to everything going on in their surroundings, and alcohol clouds their ability to do so. This lack of concentration can result in blatant disregard for others on the road.
- Decreased vision: Blurred vision or “spinning rooms” are a common side effect of alcohol intake. A person’s depth perception can also be affected, making it difficult to determine how near or far another car is.
- Inhibited judgment: Driving requires judgment calls at every twist and turn. Whether you are deciding to speed up or slow down as the light turns yellow, or you are determining if you can safely change lanes, the “liquid courage” attributed to alcohol can put everyone in a dangerous situation.
Contact a Green Bay Personal Injury Attorney for Help
Another individual’s lack of control should not result in potentially fatal circumstances for others. If a drunk driver has harmed you or your family, you should be sure to understand your legal options for recovering compensation. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we have represented countless individuals and families in serious injury and wrongful death cases. Contact our Appleton personal injury lawyers at [[phone]] to arrange a free consultation today and learn how we can help.