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Recession leads to fewer drunk driving charges in Wisconsin


When money is scarce, people across Wisconsin look for ways to save some cash. One way that people spend less money and save more is by eating their meals at home. In addition to spending more time at the kitchen table they also spend less time at the bar and buying alcohol from vendors.

During the past economic recession, drunk driving charges in Wisconsin dropped dramatically over prior averages across the state. In the decade between the 1990's and 2007, drunk driving fatalities dropped by 35% in 2008. Analysts believe that in addition to drinking out of the home on a less regular basis, individuals use their motor vehicles less during recessions and therefore the opportunities for drunk driving accidents to occur drops as well.

Although a dramatic drop in drunk driving charges is good news for Wisconsin residents, individuals who operate motor vehicles within the state should not take this information to mean that law enforcement officials have stopped targeting drivers who have consumed alcohol. Individuals who operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol may still be charged with a crime and suffer the consequences of convictions in court.

In fact, some individuals who study alcohol and driving trends believe that as the national economy improves, more individuals may face drunk driving charges as they did in the past. A rebound in the state's financial health could mean a rebound in individual finances and a return to eating and drinking out of the home.

As people decide how to spend their money in the improving economy, law enforcement officials across the state will continue to monitor driving behavior and make arrests for drunk driving. Though legal representation can help individuals charged with DUI and other crimes face their charges, it is always a good idea for people to think before getting behind the wheel when they have consumed alcoholic beverages.

Source: JS Online, "Drunken driving deaths dip with recession - but will it last?" Rick Romell, Aug. 24, 2013

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