As if Wisconsin weren’t already in the crosshairs of too many drunk driving problems, now the senior population is coming out and keg-standing like the best frat boys around. A recent report explains that Wisconsin senior citizens are drinking more, which also means that Wisconsin OWI dangers could be on the rise, too.
A Wisconsin OWI may not be treated seriously under legal considerations, but for those who end up injured or worse, there’s no reason for anyone to drink and drive. Perhaps even more so, the elder population that should know better. Considering the national drinking age of 21 did not become a law until 1984 and alcohol weren’t exactly frowned upon once the Prohibition Era ended, it could be that seniors are just doing what comes naturally.
The problem is that along with age comes health complications. As we age, we gain wisdom, but we also confront:
- Slower metabolism: alcohol remains in the system longer for older people.
- Medications: mixing alcohol and any other medication is a recipe for disaster.
- Slower reflexes: alcohol naturally slows the central nervous system, making a person with naturally declining reflexes even slower.
Those dangers, on top of the clear message sent to Wisconsin drivers that a first-offense OWI isn’t a big deal, certainly don’t follow the advice of MADD, NTHSA or any other sober driving individual. Plus, if Grandpa or Grandma are drinking and driving, that’s not the best example to set for the rest of the kids in the family.
Drinking and driving is dangerous, no matter where you live or how old you are. The laws we have, even the lenient Wisconsin OWI laws, keep us all from making big mistakes with tragic outcomes. For those of you past a certain age of responsibility, remember that whatever wisdom you would share with your younger relatives, co-workers or people on the roads is the same advice you should follow yourself. If you will be drinking, have a plan for a safe ride home.