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Drunken driving accidents often caused by first time offenders

In the state of Wisconsin, when a person is convicted for the first time of OWI, he or she does not have any criminal liability. Yet according to a new report released by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), most deaths that occur from drunk driving accidents are caused by intoxicated drivers who have never been convicted of OWI. In addition, the group says that it is estimated that before a driver is ever convicted of OWI, he or she has driven while intoxicated at least 80 times.

Wisconsin scored one of the lowest grades in the nation in MADD’s annual report card. They took into consideration a WisDOT study that looked at drunk driving crashes that resulted in fatal or serious injuries between 1991 and 2002. They found that 75 percent of drunk drivers in these cases did not have an OWI conviction on their Wisconsin driving record.

More recent data seems to back up this claim. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, among fatal drunk driving accidents in 2012, 87 percent were caused by a driver who was a first time offender and 11 percent involved a driver who had been previously convicted of OWI within the last three years.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash that was caused by an intoxicated driver, you may wish to speak with a personal injury attorney experienced in drunken driving cases. Doing so may enable you to receive compensation for your pain and suffering and medical expenses.

Source: Politifact Wisconsin, “MADD says most drunken-driving deaths caused by first-time offenders,” Dave Umhoefer, Feb. 24, 2014

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