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In the state of Wisconsin, thousands of drivers make the reckless decision to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol each and every year. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, more than 28,000 people were arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) throughout 2015 alone. Despite the fact that driving while impaired can come with significant legal ramifications, drivers still choose to put their own life and the lives of others at risk by driving drunk. If you or a family member are injured in a drunk driving collision, you need and deserve professional legal assistance. 

Thousands Are Injured Each Year 

While alcohol-related crashes have decreased in the state of Wisconsin in recent years due in large part to the diligent work of law enforcement officials thousands of people are injured due to the negligence of drunk drivers each year. Statistics compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation state that there were more than 5,000 alcohol-related collisions statewide in 2015. Tragically, alcohol-related collisions are the cause of 34 percent of all traffic fatalities statewide. More than 2,000 people in the state of Wisconsin suffer injuries that require medical attention due to the reckless behavior of drunk drivers on an annual basis. 

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Appleton personal injury attorney for drunk driver liabilityEvery day, approximately 30 people throughout the United States are fatally injured in motor vehicle collisions involving drunk drivers. In all, more than 10,500 people were killed in drunk driving accidents throughout 2018, accounting for just under 30% of all fatal motor vehicle collisions. Driving while inebriated can impact a person’s motor skills, reaction time, and decision making, affecting their ability to drive safely and avoid collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians. If you or a member of your family have been injured in a drunk driving accident, our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you determine your options for pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages. 

Seeking Compensation From a Drunk Driver

To recover compensation, car accident victims will typically need to demonstrate that a driver was at fault for an accident and that the driver’s negligence was directly responsible for their injuries. If a driver was intoxicated at the time of the collision, this will likely be considered negligence, and the driver may be held responsible for the damages suffered by victims.

A personal injury claim against a drunk driver may seek to recover compensatory damages to address the injuries inflicted in the crash. Victims may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, lost income, damage to a vehicle or other property and physical and emotional pain and suffering.

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Appleton, WI personal injury attorney drunk driving car accidentAlthough the number of fatalities caused by drunk driving accidents throughout the United States has decreased by 48 percent since 1982, more than 20, 000 people are arrested each year for operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin. Even though fatality rates have decreased, drunk driving is still one of the most serious forms of driver negligence, and it can have deadly results. Being involved in a car accident can have serious repercussions for your health and finances. If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident with an intoxicated motorist, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your options for pursuing financial compensation.

Holiday Spikes in Drunk Driving

According to the United States Department of Transportation, the number of intoxicated driving accidents increases dramatically during the holiday season, spanning from late November into the new year. On average, nearly 800 Americans sustain fatal injuries due to drunk driving accidents during the month of December alone. Furthermore, roughly 300 of those fatal crashes occur between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This increase in driving under the influence is often attributed to alcohol consumption at holiday parties. After drinking, drivers should always use alternate means of transportation, including having a designated driver or using taxis, ride-share services, or public transportation. 

Steps to Take After an Accident

If you are involved in a collision with a drunk driver during the holiday season, you will want to take action to protect your right to compensation. Following a drunk driving accident, you should:

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Appleton, WI drunk driving accident attorney

For drivers in the state of Wisconsin, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating substance. A driver is considered “under the influence” if his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired. A person may face criminal charges of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) if he or she is found to have a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08% or higher while driving a vehicle. In 2015, the most recent year in which the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported data related to drunk driving, there were 28, 790 individuals arrested for OWI in the state, including 275 motorists under the age of 18. The prevalence of drunk driving can be scary to think about, and a car accident caused by an intoxicated driver can lead to serious injuries and wrongful death. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be able to pursue financial compensation from the driver who negligently operated his or her vehicle while intoxicated.

Wisconsin OWI Conviction Statistics

Arrest data has shown us that 93% of the drivers convicted of OWI in 2015 were at least 21 years old. Looking further into the OWI conviction numbers for registered drivers, we find that:

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Green Bay drunk driving accident injury lawyerDriving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most dangerous activities any motorist can involve themselves in. Accidents that transpire from drunk driving can result in severe injuries or death. In fact, drunk driving is one of the leading causes of death in car accidents throughout the United States. Anyone who has been involved in a drunk driving accident should seek legal help from an attorney who can help them understand their options for recovering compensation for their damages. As a motorist and member of your community, you can also take steps to help prevent drunk driving wherever possible. 

Responding to a Drunk Driver

As a bystander, pedestrian, passenger, or fellow motorist, you can help keep yourself and others safe by identifying people who are driving under the influence of alcohol. Common signs such as swerving, making improper turns, not obeying traffic laws, and poor braking procedures are all indicators that a driver is inebriated. If you happen to come across any of these behaviors, reporting the driver to the police could save an innocent life.

Best Practices for Preventing Drunk Driving

Having a night out on the town with some friends, attending an event, celebrating a special occasion, or going out on a date are all common reasons why people consume alcohol. For people under the age of 21, Wisconsin’s “zero tolerance” law makes it illegal for a minor to drive after drinking any amount of alcohol. For adults 21 and over, the legal limit for BAC (blood alcohol content) while driving is 0.08%. While the threat of being arrested for OWI (operating while intoxicated) may discourage drunk driving, the responsibility to operate a vehicle safely falls on the motorist. The following tips can help avoid the possibility of someone being injured in a car accident by a drunk driver:

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