Spring break and drunk driving

Wisconsin residents should take note of the risks associated with drunk driving as spring break season nears.

The months of March and April span spring break season for various schools in the area. Wisconsin college students and even some high school students can be tempted to engage in risky behaviors that put themselves and innocent victims in harm's way. Serious personal injury and even death are all too common consequences of these scenarios.

An article by a physician published in Forbes highlighted the dangers of binge drinking by students over spring break. When these students also make the choice to get behind the wheels of vehicles, these dangers only increase. It only takes one motor vehicle accident to change or lose a life.

The reality of spring break

The Trauma Foundation at San Francisco General Hospital published a document that disclosed some disturbing statistics about the behavior of some college students during spring break. Findings from one report suggest that students consume as many as 18 alcoholic beverages in a single day. Up to half of students become ill or lose consciousness after drinking at least once during the break.

The reality of drunk driving

Mothers Against Drunk Driving data shows that alcohol use among teens is responsible for as many as 4,700 deaths every year. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data from 2013 shows all too well the serious nature of drinking and driving in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee County recorded the greatest number of drunk driving fatalities of any county in the state that year. Detailed information is as follows:

  • In Milwaukee County, 17 people died in accidents involving alcohol.
  • In Dane County, 15 people died in accidents involving alcohol.
  • In Waukesha County, eight people died in accidents involving alcohol.
  • Statewide, there were a total of 178 drunk driving deaths in 2013.

All other counties experienced seven or fewer deaths attributed to drunk driving accidents that year.

The Century Council highlights the dangers associated with extreme levels of alcohol in drivers' bloodstreams. In Wisconsin in 2012, drivers with BAC levels over 0.14 percent were involved in more than 78 percent of all drunk driving fatalities.

Putting it all together

It is not only students who travel to Cancun, Florida or other party destinations that engage in risky behaviors over spring break. Even those that choose to stay in Wisconsin can increase residents' chances of being involved in drunk driving crashes.

Victims should always be prepared to seek legal help if this happens to them or to a loved one.

Keywords: drunk driving, accident, injury