Wisconsin residents drive under the influence of alcohol – or, at least, admit to it – at a higher rate than the residents of any other state, says a federal study reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. More than 26 percent of Wisconsin adults 18 and older told government researchers that they had driven under the influence in the previous year. That was more than 70 percent above the national average, 15.1 percent.
Wisconsin is among the U.S. leaders in per-person consumption of alcohol and for years has had the lowest abstention rate. Utah, where Mormon tenets frown upon drinking, had the lowest percentage, 9.5. Several states in the South, where abstinence is common, posted rates below 12 percent. Most of the top 10 states for self-reported driving under the influence are in the Upper Midwest or Great Plains. “I think it’s something to do with the culture of Wisconsin and what the shared expectations are of behavior,” said one expert. “People who come from other states remark on it. Any event you go to (in Wisconsin) has alcohol.”