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Wisconsin criminal defense attorney, Wisconsin defense lawyer, operating under the influenceThe state of Wisconsin is pursuing a new method of curbing repeat offenses for drunk driving. State officials are going to begin testing people with repeat OWI convictions for “alcohol biomarkers.” These are residual molecules that can show the history of a person's drinking. The idea is to use these biomarkers to attempt to identify people who are at a higher risk for continuing to drive drunk. Some research from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee already suggests that these sorts of tests, combined with computer analytics, can help predict people's drunk driving tendencies.

What Alcohol Biomarker Testing Is

Alcohol biomarkers are a new type of test designed to determine a person's long-term drinking history. Ordinary alcohol tests check for the presence of alcohol in the blood, but alcohol only lasts in the blood for a matter of hours before it is gone. This makes it impossible to learn about a person's alcohol intake by directly testing for alcohol. However, alcohol does not simply vanish from the blood. Instead, it is metabolized. This means that the body converts the molecules of alcohol into other molecules. These molecules last much longer in the body, finding their way into the drinker's fingernails, which a chemist can then examine.



In late September, was reported that former Cleveland Browns Quarterback, Bernie Kosar, had been arrested on a DUI charge. The police report indicated that he was pulled over at 2:40 in the morning after speeding through a construction zone (74 in a 50 mph speed zone).

When the office approached the car and asked if he had been drinking, Kosar stated that "he was helping a friend." Additionally, when asked for his license, Kosar handed the officer two credit cards.


BAC-LawBy Attorney Steven C. McGaver

Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that all fifty states should lower the legal blood alcohol limit from 0.08 g/100 ml to 0.05 g/100 ml. According to the NTSB, at .05 BAC, some drivers begin having difficulties with depth perception and other visual functions. As expected, the American Beverage Institute immediately cried foul. Managing director Sarah Longwell said: "This recommendation is ludicrous. Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior. Further restricting the moderate consumption of alcohol by responsible adults prior to driving does nothing to stop hardcore drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel." The proposal also met criticism from some surprising opponents, Mothers Against Drunk Driving of Texas, which successfully lobbied to change the limit from .10 to .08 in 1999, said pushing to lower the rate is not on its radar, and according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee County Sheriff, David Clarke expressed his opposition to the proposal, stating, "What we're seeing from analysis of our data is that the heart of the problem is that Wisconsin doesn't criminalize the first offense. The first offense of drunken driving should be a misdemeanor. On average, many of those arrested have a level of 0.15, or nearly twice the legal limit, and some are even higher. People we stop, test and arrest are drunk out of their minds. There's nothing in the NTSB recommendations that talks about stiffer sentences, and that's what's needed. Our problem is multiple-time offenders, and we don't send a strong enough message after the first time."

The New York Times reported that "Blood-alcohol concentration varies by body weight, gender, stomach contents and other factors, but generally speaking, a 180-pound man could consume four beers or glasses of wine in 90 minutes without reaching the current limit. At a limit of 0.05 percent, he could legally consume only three. A 130-pound woman could probably consume three drinks in 90 minutes and be legal under the existing standard; if the limit were lowered, she could consume only two."

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