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A drunk driving charge carries with it not only the penalties enforced by the law, but also the stigma attached to it.  Some may judge those with a conviction for being careless, reckless, or irresponsible.  Many preach to their children to never, under any circumstance, get in a vehicle with a driver who knowingly had consumed alcohol.  However, when in the situation to prevent someone from not only the potential dangers of driving under the influence, but also a potential OWI charge, would you speak up and attempt to prevent it?

Punked by the Colorado DOT

The Colorado Department of Transportation tested this idea by creating a fake brewery bus tour.  Pretending to be representatives from “A Few Brews Denver” the DOT workers offered a free three-hour tour to unsuspecting customers as long as they agreed to be in a “promotional video” for the supposed new company.  They targeted men between the ages of 21 and 34, as this is the group with statistically the highest DUI fatality rate.

Two actors playing the tour guide and the bus guide driver enjoyed friendly conversation with the other tourists as well as keeping up with their alcohol consumption.   The driver was secretly drinking non-alcoholic beer while the tour guide drank the real stuff.  Not one of the participants of the tour spoke up regarding the driver’s drinking, nor showed any signs of concern that he was drinking and driving despite the many opportunities at different stops to do so.

The Sobering Truth

Once it was revealed this was not a promotion for a soon-to-be brewery, but rather a social experiment, the participants were not angry but were definitely surprised.  Even more so when the actor playing the tour guide, who is of similar age and body composition and the driver, recorded a BAC of 0.10 which is over the legal limit.  The experiment was meant to illustrate that though many believe a few drinks is harmless, it can easily put you over the legal limit and land you with some serious consequences.  Additionally, we tend to turn a blind eye to information and situations which may be harmful when doing so is easier than creating an awkward situation and confronting the problem.

This New Year’s Eve, and always, if you are going to drink-do not get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.  Designate a sober driver or be one yourself.  Remember, sober doesn’t mean “just having a few.”  If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of an OWI charge for New Year’s, be sure to contact the award winning, experienced Wisconsin OWI defense attorneys at Vanden Heuvel and Dineen.  We always offer a free consultation and attorney Nathan Dineen and Daniel Skarie are available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you might have.   Call our local office or Toll-Free at 1-877-384-6800.