Everyone knows that Wisconsin is a drinking state. However, these facts about drunk driving may still catch you by surprise:

  1. Wisconsin is the only state in the country where a first drunk driving offense is not actually a crime, unless there are other factors such as a child in the vehicle.
  2. 448,624 Wisconsin residents have at least one OWI conviction on their record, according to data from the Department of Transportation. That’s nearly 13 percent of the population, far above the national average.
  3. At the end of 2015, there were two Wisconsin residents with 16 OWI convictions on their records. This may be the record for most drunk driving convictions.
  4. Wisconsin came in ninth place in states with the most drunk driving arrests, according to a study from SafeHome.org.
  5. Rural counties in Wisconsin and nationwide tend to have a greater number of drunk driving arrests, nearly double that of other counties on average.
  6. 26.2 percent of Wisconsinites drink excessively, outnumbering every other state, according to information from USA Today.
  7. Despite all of this, the number of OWI (also referred to as DUI or DWI) arrests have dropped substantially over the last 20 years, and are now nearly half of what they were in the early 2000s. This is based on data from WisContext.

At Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, we recognize the need for safe, accident-free streets, while also believing in every individual’s legal right to defend themselves when charged with a crime like drunk driving. We strive to help people prevent one all-too-common mistake from ruining their lives.