Wisconsin’s Relationship with Alcohol

Wisconsin's relationship with alcohol

Drinking to excess is heavily ingrained in Wisconsin culture. It’s even regularly made light of. Attending a toddler’s birthday party with an open bar, local pub crawls, and deciding to attend a wedding based on whether alcohol will be served or not, are all very common occurrences here. It’s no surprise that the map below shows that Wisconsin carries the majority of the drunkest counties in America.  All that drinking leads to OWIs (Wisconsin’s DUI), to the tune of around 25,000 citations last year statewide. Approximately 200 fatalities in Wisconsin were attributed to drunk driving last year. 

The 50 Drunkest Counties in America

Click here to read about the 50 Drunkest Counties in America

Not just leaders in pro sports

When it comes to Wisconsin’s relationship with alcohol, we sweep the rest of the country: Compared to all other states, Wisconsin has the highest percentages of people who are drinkers, binge drinkers, and drunken drivers.


  • Affordable: We have some of the least expensive alcohol in the country.
  • Advertising: There is a great deal of marketing for adult beverages, from newspaper ads all the way up to full-sized billboards.
  • Acceptable: Excessive drinking is normalized in Wisconsin. It’s uncommon to find someone that doesn’t drink.
  • Available: You can buy alcohol at grocery stores, gas stations, liquor stores, restaurants, or any bar in your town.

Speaking of Wisconsin’s relationship with alcohol, consider the upcoming string of major holidays. It’s important to make sensible transportation plans if you’re attending parties or family gatherings. Everybody knows how wild Halloween parties can get. Or how dealing with ‘Uncle Bob’ at Thanksgiving can make you have that extra glass of wine. Please consider these options BEFORE you partake:

  • Designate a driver you trust to remain sober. Never get in a car with someone who has been drinking.
  • Check on your local taxi/uber service, or public transportation, and then use them.
  • If the party is at, or near, a hotel, book a room in advance. A quick walk to your room is better than risking getting behind the wheel. If the party is with family, sleep on the couch. The dog will enjoy the company.
  • If you feel you have had too much to drink, give your keys to a responsible party so you aren’t tempted to make a decision you may regret. Call a sober friend or family member to give you a ride home.

If you make the decision to drink and drive and are cited for OWI, contact Cafferty & Scheidegger, S.C. The experience and knowledge of our team lead them to be able to defend each of their clients’ Wisconsin drunk driving charges. We will aggressively fight your charges to reach the best possible outcome.

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From our offices in Racine and Kenosha Wisconsin, the criminal defense lawyers at Cafferty & Scheidegger defend the rights of people charged with state and federal criminal offenses throughout Southeastern Wisconsin (Racine, Kenosha, Walworth). If you or a loved one is charged with a crime, contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced Racine federal criminal defense attorney right away. For urgent matters, you are welcome to call or text us 24 hours a day at ‪(262) 632-5000.


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The attorneys at Cafferty & Scheidegger have excellent knowledge of the state and federal court system throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. They are aggressive trial lawyers that are recognized for integrity and hard work. Our law firm’s strength lies in our exceptional pre-trial investigation and case preparation. We come to the prosecutor’s office prepared with the facts and ready to help you get the best possible outcome for your charges. Our priority is always to keep you out of jail and avoid a conviction on your record, whenever possible.

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The dedication of the team at Cafferty & Scheidegger to client service and their record of success has earned them listings as Wisconsin Super Lawyer® from 2008 through 2022. In addition, their reputation for high standards has earned them an AV Distinguished rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Cafferty & Scheidegger is backed by more than 28 years of trial skills and courtroom experience.

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