Underage Drinking and Driving Accidents in Wisconsin
Underage drinking can cause a host of problems ranging from alcohol dependence, violent crimes, and even death. However, a growing concern is now the presence of young drivers who get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. In fact, in 2010 traffic accidents caused by underage drinking and driving cost approximately $255 million in damages in Wisconsin alone. In 2009, there were 31 fatal traffic accidents and 1,529 non-fatal traffic accidents caused by minors who engaged in drinking and driving.
Arrested for Drinking and Driving
Recently, it was reported that a 13-year-old girl from Manitowoc, Wisconsin was arrested for driving five of her friends, all under the age of 14 years old, while under the influence of alcohol.
Of course, with the exception noted below, it is illegal for those under the age of 21 years old to consume any alcohol in the state of Wisconsin (bar specific circumstances). Similarly, it is against the law for those same individuals to drive after consuming alcohol, whether under the influence or not.n addition, if the inebriated driver causes an accident, he or she may face criminal penalties for his or her actions and any parties injured in the crash may be able to file a civil suit to recover compensation for injuries sustained.
Wisconsin is Cracking Down on Underage Drinking and Driving
Wisconsin is one of the few states in the country that permits young adults under the age of 21 years old to consume and possess alcohol as long as they are accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or spouse who is above the legal drinking age of 21 years old. However, Wisconsin law does not condone underage drinking and driving.
To deter underage drinking and driving, Wisconsin has an absolute sobriety law, otherwise known as the “not a drop” law, which provides that drivers under the age of 21 years old will be arrested for any amount of alcohol found in their system. Violators of this law may be imposed with fines and have their license suspended. However, when a young driver causes an accident and is charged with underage drinking and driving, the consequences can be even more severe. Evidence of an Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OWI) charge in a personal injury claim is often used to establish liability, allowing the victim in an accident to recover compensation.
Consult a Wisconsin Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been the victim of a Wisconsin car accident and believe that the other driver may have been operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, contact an experienced Green Bay car accident lawyer at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. today. We have offices in Appleton, Green Bay, New London and Oshkosh and will zealously represent your interests and help you receive the compensation you deserve.