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Multiple Wisconsin OWI arrests could lower accident risk

The ramifications of drinking and driving can be life-altering. An accident that results from the decision to drink and drive is entirely preventable. A recent rash of OWI arrests throughout Wisconsin reminds residents of the dangers that drunk drivers pose, as well as the need to remain vigilant while on the road.

In one incident, a 47-year-old man ran a stop sign in the early morning hours of a recent Saturday, crashing into a truck. He told an officer who responded to the crash that he had been exhausted at the time of the accident and had fallen asleep at the wheel. The officer, however, observed that the man had bloodshot and glassy eyes and smelled of alcohol. A range of field sobriety tests followed, and the driver submitted to a breath analysis. The results revealed a blood alcohol level of .13, which led police to arrest him for OWI.

The truck driver struck in this incident did not report injuries at the time of the accident. However, in many cases an accident causes muscle or joint trauma that can go undetected immediately following a crash. Should this man experience pain or other trauma in the days and weeks following the incident, he has the right to move forward with a personal injury suit against the driver who struck his vehicle.

Another of the arrests came about after witnesses reported a female driver weaving across a roadway. They followed the woman until she stopped her vehicle in a driveway. Police arrived and issued a series of sobriety tests, which led to her arrest for OWI. A second arrest came from a similar situation in which witnesses called police to report erratic driving. In this case, the female driver admitted having taken a range of prescription drugs and drinking before getting into her vehicle to drive.

While it is admirable that police are able to arrest many impaired individuals before innocent people are harmed, the sheer number of recent OWI arrests throughout Wisconsin is alarming. In one case, a collision took place before the drunk driver was apprehended. Drivers should remember to always scan the road for erratic driving or other indications of drunk driving, such as excessively slow speed or persistent weaving. For those who are injured in an accident with an impaired driver, the first step should be to determine one's rights under Wisconsin law.

Source: Wauwatosa, WI Patch, "Six Recent OWI Arrests Come in a Variety of Types," Jim Price, Dec. 17, 2012

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