Wrecked car used to illustrate dangers of drinking and driving

A wrecked car being used to illustrate the dangers of drinking and driving sits near the main gate of Truax Field, July 1, 2013.  The car, with a bright yellow sign that reads “Drinking and Driving Kills,” was placed there to ensure anyone leaving Truax Field will have a visual reminder of the consequences that drinking and driving can have.  (National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Stephen Montgomery)

A wrecked car being used to illustrate the dangers of drinking and driving sits near the main gate of Truax Field, July 1, 2013. The car, with a bright yellow sign that reads “Drinking and Driving Kills,” was placed there to ensure anyone leaving Truax Field will have a visual reminder of the consequences that drinking and driving can have. (National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Stephen Montgomery)

Madison, Wis. -- It is the most frequently committed crime in the United States. About 30 percent of all Americans will be involved in a car crash during their lifetime as a result of it. More than 40 percent of all fatal auto accidents are related to this. It kills one person every 31 minutes and injures one person every two minutes.

What is it? Drinking and driving.

Anyone visiting Truax Field this week will have a graphic reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving--a car that was totaled in a crash will be displayed all week leading up the Fourth of July weekend.

The car, being displayed near the main gate of Truax Field, was placed there to ensure everyone coming on or off base would be able to see what can happen if you decide to drive impaired.

"If this display even makes one person stop and think about getting behind the wheel after a few drinks, or put sending that text on hold, then it will be all worth it," said Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Egstad, 115th Fighter Wing Safety non-commissioned officer in charge.

According to the Center for Disease Control, every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver and it is estimated, that the odds of you being involved in and alcohol related crash are one in three

In Wisconsin alone, there were more than 44,000 convictions for drunken driving offenses last year and 45% of all fatal traffic crashes in the state were alcohol-related, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

While the statistics are staggering, the consequences are real. Aside from the risk of being killed or injured, if you are convicted of Driving While Intoxicated you face possible suspension of your license, fines and jail time. You will have a criminal record and depending on your driving record, the court may order you to install an ignition interlock device, attend alcohol counseling classes and may even impound your car.

Here are some tips to help prevent this from happening:
·Choose a sober designated driver before you start drinking.
·If you're feeling buzzed, you are most likely are over the legal limit.
·Take a taxi; while it may seem expensive at the time, it is cheaper than an OWI.
·Some taverns and restaurants have programs to provide patrons with a safe ride home. Visit www.tlw.org.
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