Wisconsin Lawmakers Consider Tougher Underage Drinking Laws

June 6, 2013

Drunk driving is a contributing factor in a large percentage of car accident injury in Wisconsin and fatalities each year. In fact, a total of 17 teenagers were killed on the state’s highways in 2011 as a result of drunk driving.

In an effort to reduce the number of teenage lives lost in Wisconsin due to driving while intoxicated, legislators are considering stiffening the laws and penalties regarding underage drinking. According to an article from WXOW 19 News, Rep. Andre Jacque has sponsored a bill that would make it illegal for adults to knowingly permit, or fail to prevent, an underage individual from consuming alcohol. The current law only requires an adult to take action against underage drinking if the behavior takes place on the premises of an establishment where alcohol is sold.

The law would also include a stipulation allowing owners of bars and liquor stores to sue an underaged individual, or the parents of that individual, if the minor attempts to falsely identify themselves as over the age of 21–the legal drinking age.

Jacque says he hopes the bill deters minors from attempting to sneak into bars and pubs, which would in turn reduce drunken driving accidents involving teens.

At Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham, our Green Bay injury attorneys recognize the devastating effects drunk driving can have. The firm urges teens to refrain from consuming alcohol and encourages them to ask their friends and peers to do the same.