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Daytime is when the drunkest drivers are still on the roads


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- New Year’s Eve is done, and the parties are over... but your danger of coming into contact with an impaired driver is still very real. That’s according to State Patrol Sergeant Carrie Johnson.

Johnson says the dangers of drunk drivers happen at all times of the day, and the daytime arrests tend to involve drivers that are more intoxicated. “You’ll find that the people who are driving drunk during the day are the repeat offenders, so they have significant higher levels of alcohol.”

Johnson says the people that believe drunks are only on the road at bar time need to accept the truth. “They are wrong. It can occur at anytime during the day.”

The Sergeant says the average OWI offense is someone with a point-17 reading, which is more than twice the legal limit of point-08, and many of them are in broad daylight. “You do get the higher readings. It seems like during the day, they’re the hardcore drinkers, probably the ones that have a problem with the alcohol and the drinking.”

Johnson says impaired drivers tend to weave, follow too closely, or focus on the center line or the fog line. She says drivers that suspect another driver may be impaired or in danger should definitely call 9-1-1. “You don’t know what’s going to happen, and even if they’re not drinking, it could be a medical issue as well, so absolutely, call 9-1-1 and let us take care of it. We would rather have to stop them and check them out, making sure everything is OK then to have something terrible happen.”

If you are following a driver that appears impaired, Johnson says to make sure you keep a safe distance behind while calling 9-1-1 for help.