OWI/DUI Checkpoints and the Holidays

By Andrew Mishlove on December 02, 2019


A police officer with a breathalyzer testWith the holidays approaching, many people are rightly concerned about drunk driving arrests. Thankfully, a Wisconsin OWI/DUI attorney from our law firm can help. Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert are skilled lawyers who can help people who have been pulled over and charged with intoxication.

Many people have questions about sobriety checkpoints during the holiday season. While most states have these mandatory stops to check for drunk driving, our state is different. Let’s explore this issue below.

Why Many States Have Sobriety Checkpoints

Most states have sobriety checkpoints in place to arrest drunk drivers and help keep roads safe. They work in theory, especially when these checkpoints are placed in high-traffic areas where drunk driving is known to occur.

During the holiday season, this is especially important. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 300 drivers die in drunk-driving related collisions during the period from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day.

Yet in Wisconsin, there are no sobriety checkpoints during the holidays. In fact, there are no sobriety checkpoints at all throughout the year.

Current Sobriety Checkpoint Laws in Wisconsin

As we mentioned in a previous blog post on sobriety checkpoints, these are not legally permitted in the state. In fact, Wisconsin is one of the few states in America where OWI/DUI checkpoints are not allowed. As such, you won’t be seeing sobriety checkpoints in the state this holiday season. That could change, however, as the state legislature weighs the pros and cons of having roadside sobriety checks.

The Debate About the Effectiveness of Sobriety Checkpoints

We mentioned that sobriety checkpoints work in theory, and that’s because the real world numbers reveal the shortcomings of these mandatory stops. We can look at a Chicago Tribune article from 2015 to see why this debate is ongoing. That article notes that 270,000 citations were issued at statewide checkpoints. Just 5 percent of those citations were for drunk driving, with approximately 93 percent of the citations issued for only minor offenses.

Will Wisconsin Ever Have to Worry About Checkpoints in the Future?

That remains to be seen.

As discussion continues with regard to sobriety checkpoints in the state, our law firm will follow the news and keep this blog updated. It’s important that the rights of all Wisconsin motorists be considered, and that you understand what new legislation means and how it will affect you.

Law Enforcement Looks for Drunk Drivers During the Holidays

Even without sobriety checkpoints in place, law enforcement will be extra vigilant about trying to catch drunk drivers. Law enforcement vehicles may be waiting along various roadways and streets, looking for any signs of intoxicated driving from Christmas Eve all the way through New Year’s Day.

For those pulled over and charged with drunk driving, know that our law firm is here to help. We will make sure the traffic stop was carried out properly, and will work to get charges dropped or reduced when possible.

Our Drunk Driving Lawyers Are Here to Help

If you or a loved one is arrested for drunk driving during the holiday season, you need legal representation. We encourage you to contact our drunk driving lawyers about your OWI arrest. You can reach Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC by phone in Milwaukee at (414) 206-6919, in Oshkosh at (920) 306-8500, in West Bend at (262) 239-4828, and in Waukesha at (262) 207-4527. Our OWI attorneys are here to help.

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