Despite efforts, drunks keep driving

A couple of reports this week from WRN affiliate WSAU in Wausau are as good an indication as any that efforts to curb the scourge of drunk driving in Wisconsin still have a way to go.

Both incidents involved drivers who were partying hearty over the weekend. Ricky Bahling is in familiar territory — he’s being charged with a 9th OWI. First-timer Seth Rohde led police on a high speed chase through residential neighborhoods, at one point careening into a home.

Some communities are trying innovative efforts to combat drunk driving, including Janesville’s interactive mapping and Dane County’s OWI court.

Steve Olson with the Department of Transportation says young men ages 21 to 30 are most likely to drive drunk and possibly kill someone on the roads, or get themselves killed. About 40 percent of all fatal traffic crashes in Wisconsin are alcohol-related, with roughly 280 deaths each year and 5,000 injuries.

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