There are many reasons why someone may get behind the wheel of a car intoxicated. But many of those reasons are seasonal—that is, there are certain events or activities that may happen at specified times of the year that lead to DWI or OWI incidents and arrests. How much do OWI arrests go up during the summer months in Wisconsin?
Looking at National Statistics
One way to determine Wisconsin’s arrest rate is to look at the arrest rate for DWIs in the nation as a whole. According to a study conducted by safehome.org, between September 2019, and March 2020—non-summer months—close to 20% of drivers who were pulled over and tested for elevated BAL levels, tested above the legal limit.
However, from July to September of 2020—the heart of the summer—that percentage rose to about 25%.
Looking just at traffic fatalities that involve DUIs, even those tend to peak between May and September.
Why All the Increases?
But why do DWI arrests happen more frequently in the summer? There are a number of possible explanations
- Driving – Because of better road conditions, there simply are more people on the road. Drivers can travel at higher speeds when roads are not icy and snowy. Many people may also be more inclined to drive intoxicated, under the false sense that the roads are easier to navigate in the summer.
- Holidays/Vacations – Of course, summer is a big holiday season. On vacation, a lot of people tend to drink more. When you combine that with people who have had too much to drink getting pulled over, often because they may not be familiar with out-of-town roads, it is no wonder the OWI arrest rate goes up in the summer. With holidays and vacations, come later nights, which also put people on the roadways when visibility may be lessened.
- Weather – With hotter weather, comes an increased desire to drink, including to consume alcoholic beverages. But the weather’s impact can even affect how alcohol is absorbed by the body. Drinks with a higher alcohol content are often absorbed slower. That means that someone can test with a higher BAL, hours after actually consuming the alcohol when the drink has a higher alcohol content. Heat can also lead to dehydration, which can increase the body’s BAL after drinking, as the body’s own liquids are drained during the hot summer months.
- Underage drinking – Teenagers may drink more, or be more inclined to get behind the wheel intoxicated in the summer, when they are off from school, or when they may be on vacation, or just away from home.
- More police – Police are not oblivious to all of these factors, and they tend to patrol more often, and more rigorously in the summer months.
Don’t get yourself in trouble this summer. Drink responsibly, and be aware of the inherent risks in summertime activities when it comes to alcohol.
Don’t let a mistake ruin your life. Call the Milwaukee DWI attorney at the Law Office of Michael Hayes LLC at 414-405-5678 for help if you have been arrested or charged with DWI or OWI.