Ridesharing is a relatively new phenomenon that is currently happening in large cities throughout the United States as well as right here in Wisconsin. To rideshare, a person simply has to use a smartphone and a downloaded app to connect to a ridesharing network. Drivers on the networks use their own vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers for a fee, ultimately operating like traditional taxi services.
Wisconsin residents may own private property but often leave that property when they go to their jobs, restaurants and stores. When they pull out of their driveways and onto local roads and highways, they are generally entering public land. Questions often arise as to whether a driver can face drunk driving charges if he is operating on private property.
According to the Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation (PIRE), impaired driving is involved in close to 40% of the motor vehicle accidents that occur on Wisconsin roads. The organization further claims that an impaired motorist drives one out of every 130 miles driven throughout the state. Drunk driving does occur in the state of Wisconsin; however, local law enforcement's focus on incarcerating intoxicated drivers may not be the only way to improve safety conditions on Wisconsin roads and highways.
Facing a drunk driving crime in Wisconsin can be damaging to a person's reputation and well-being. When the charge forces a person to surrender his license or pay a high fine, the financial health of the individual and his family can be directly impacted. When the accusation is more serious and imprisonment is a potential penalty, the individual can face losing his rights and spending substantial time behind bars.
As has previously been mentioned on this blog, Wisconsin is the only state in the country that does not make a first time DUI a crime. Rather, a driver who is found to have committed DUI is given a citation. In other states across the nation a similar offense is met with a criminal misdemeanor charge.
A DUI can affect a Wisconsin resident's life on many levels. It can cause a person to lose the person's driver's license temporarily or indefinitely. It can lead to excessive court costs and fines that deplete a person's savings or cause the person to go into debt. It can require a period of incarceration that causes an individual to lose that person's job or other important relationships.
From time to time Wisconsin drivers may see police officers conducting planned traffic stops at specific locations. These stops can happen for a variety of reasons. In some cases, officers are looking for individuals suspected of committing crimes and in others they are attempting to enforce driving safety laws such as seatbelt use.
The recent arrest and imprisonment of a Wisconsin man paints the upsetting picture of just how bad a person's legal problems can become after being accused of drunk driving.
Thanksgiving has passed and now Wisconsin residents are being bombarded with holiday advertisements and shopping deals. Along with all of the gift-giving and party planning many people are looking forward to spending quality time with friends and family. For some, getting together with loved ones means going out and having a good time at the local pub.
There is no doubt that driving while drunk can be dangerous. Here in Wisconsin, however, individuals facing their first drunk driving charges have generally been granted a second chance to drive responsibly before being charged with a crime. For some it is an opportunity to learn from a bad mistake that will never be repeated.