The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has put together a truly excellent series that documents Wisconsin’s culture of alcohol and the pain and misery it has exacted upon the state. I have often written on the subject of What is Wrong with Wisconsin* so I thought it fitting to highlight this JS online special that focuses on what it means to be Wasted in Wisconsin.
But Wisconsin has a problem, and averting our eyes is no longer acceptable. How we as a statewide community address this problem depends first on our understanding of the phenomenon and its consequences, and second on our collective willingness to address painful questions and to demand change.
Here are the sobering facts:
• Wisconsin has led every state in its percentage of drinkers since at least 1995.
• Wisconsin has led the nation in binge drinking every year since at least 1995.
• Wisconsin is the only state in the country that treats first-offense drunken driving as a traffic ticket.
• More than one-third of the people convicted of drunken driving in Wisconsin last year were repeat offenders.
There is more than one article in this series that I will probably pull out later to discuss seperately, but you can see them all now by clicking here.
* Please excuse the broken links from the platform change- I continue to repair the posts at a rate of about 10 per day but there is still months of work left.