A DUI May Cost You Your Blood (and Fingernails)
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A DUI May Cost You Your Blood (and Fingernails)


According to Wisconsin Watch, America’s Dairyand state—one that apparently has a notable DUI repeat offender rate—has several counties that have implemented an alcohol testing program that involves taking blood and fingernail samples from those who have been convicted for drunken driving. Since state statistics show that more the 33% of people arrested for DUIs have been arrested on the same charges before, the testing program is an effort for the state to determine the likelihood of you repeating that behavior—meaning, if your fingernails show you like to booze it up on the reg, you might be looking at more than just a $10,000 slap on the wrist.

Of course, some may feel it’s a violation to acquire a person’s DNA just to inventory (and let’s face it, judge) how much they are drinking (and possibly using illegal drugs) and then use it against them by determining whether they are equipped to operate a motor vehicle. And while this does seem like an unfair violation of privacy, it’s one that I support.

My heart goes out to the people of the cheese state—home of the great Miller Brewing Company (RIP Pabst and Schlitz)—whose lifestyles include hearty Midwestern fare, shoveling driveways and catching a buzz. In some ways, it should be a God-given right of people in cold weather states to drink too much—it’s how they get through the winter—so it doesn’t surprise me that more than a third of people who have been caught driving while intoxicated have been caught before; it’s entirely a numbers game, as I see it. Being from Boston (aka cold weather and alcoholism), it’s not a matter of repeat offending, it’s a matter of how many times you get caught doing what you always do.

But as funny-cause-it’s-true as this may be, drunk driving accidents and fatalities are nothing to be taken lightly. The message that drunk driving is not an option needs to be sent on a federal level and the heartland is a great place to start. Peer ride share programs like Lyft and Uber are great solutions to this problem. Larger cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston and San Diego have already started making these affordable ride apps part of their mainstream culture.

So when it comes to human rights, the times they are a changin’. As we evolve biologically, it sometimes feels like we regress psychologically when it comes to personal responsibility. People have become dangerous weapons of free will and the law has to catch up. If one DUI conviction (in Wisconsin, we are talking more like three) ends up robbing you of your right to harbor a secret drinking problem then all I can say is: I’m sorry.

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About Author

Danielle Stewart is a Los Angeles-based writer and recovering comedian. She has written for Showtime, E!, and MTV, as well as print publications such as Us Weekly and Life & Style Magazine. She returned to school and is currently working her way towards a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She loves coffee, Law & Order SVU, and her emotional support dog, Benson.