Can New Testing Reduce Repeat Drunk Drivers?

Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of preventable death in our country. Drivers who get behind the wheel of a car after they have been drinking is a threat to an entire community. Police all over the country spend countless hours monitoring the roads for signs of a person who has been drinking too much in an effort to help keep other travelers safe.

In addition to the drunk driving problem our country is experiencing, many drunk drivers are repeat offenders. While the punishment is stiff for driving under the influence, it has not deterred many from getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol even if they have already been convicted of drunk driving.

The state of Wisconsin recently tallied up the number of drunk driving incidents that were committed by someone who already had a record of drunk driving. They found that 33 percent of their drunk driving cases were with people who had been already been convicted. These repeat offenders are putting an entire state at risk and public officials and law enforcement felt it was time that something was done about this.

Instead of increasing the fines or jail time convicted drunk drivers face, the state of Wisconsin is looking to prevent the growing alcohol problem altogether. People who have already been convicted of driving under the influence must submit blood and fingernail samples so their alcohol use can be monitored. When a person is convicted of a DUI they are required to undergo one year of monitoring. During the year-long monitoring process people are less likely to drink and drive, and positive samples can help deter them to treatment programs.

“The goal is not to catch people. It’s to get them sober, so that they’re not killing someone on the road, and that they actually discover that there’s another life out there,” explained Doug Lewis, president of the company that is analyzing the blood and fingernail samples.