So many impressive strides are taken each year to prevent drunk driving, it is hard to imagine that other alcohol-related deaths even occur. Of course, there is the danger of alcohol poisoning after a night of binge drinking, or the errant keg-on-the-head accidental death… but, how dangerous do you think it is to walk while intoxicated? In Wisconsin, oddly, there is more danger of death from falling while drunk than driving while drunk.
You read that right. In Wisconsin, more intoxicated people fall to their deaths after hitting the bars than have a fatal accident due to drunk driving.
At a .08 BAC, the legal limit for intoxication across the U.S., you are already losing touch with distance and visual perception. Your reflexes are dulled and you may be stumbling, if not just slightly “trippy” when you walk. These reactions to alcohol are precisely why nobody wants you driving when you’re drunk – you’re operating a vehicle and cannot even control your own feet very well. In other states, that BAC will be the determining factor in a drunk driving conviction, including a car breathalyzer or ignition interlock requirement. Maybe you should have walked home, right? Or… maybe not.
It might not be surprising in Wisconsin, with its “traffic citation” for a first-time OWI at .08 BAC that there’s a high rate of falling drunks. Perhaps if you’re falling down drunk, you shouldn’t be driving, or walking. Maybe the state should consider better options for public transportation that eliminates both potential problems, or at least address the “beer culture” that is deeply woven into the fabric of the state.
Either way, Wisconsin’s got plenty of drinking problems to solve. Whether you’re at risk for drinking and driving, or one of the “falling drunk” in Wisconsin, don’t risk your life over a few too many beers – call a taxi and keep yourself from all of the risks that alcohol may invite.