Wisconsin, like many states in the US, has a major DUI problem. And repeat offenders are number one on that list. According to statistics and estimates from drunk driving attorneys in Wisconsin, more than one third of the people who get caught for a DUI violation have been caught before.

Police officials in Wisconsin are always at high alert looking out for offenders, but people usually lie. Now a new system of detection that uses biomarkers to find out and predict which of the drunken drivers are at a risk of violating the law again can prove to be very useful to the authorities if it proves to be successful.

Current approach to lowering repeat offenses is not perfect

The current system of finding and predicting repeat offenders is by asking violators about their drug and alcohol abuse. But it is often seen that these people lie, probably in order to get out of the prison as quickly as they can or to ensure they are given a lighter sentence than they deserve. Blood tests too are variable, as alcohol residues leave the body within a few hours. Hence only samples collected immediately after the arrest will give any reliable indication of the accused’s actual BAC.

Biomarker approach already being used in Europe

So, a handful of counties in Wisconsin decided to take a novel approach to the whole task and employed a method that some European countries have already decided to use. Even if a person lies about his or her drug use and drinking habits, the body does not. And by using biomarkers to detect and predict substance abuse in drunken drivers, the counties hope to use more reliable evidence to bring down the statistics of repeat violations in the state.


The biomarker system works by testing molecular evidence stored in nail and blood samples for alcohol biomarkers. Researchers also say that using the biomarker method to make predictions and treat repeat offenders helps them stay sober for longer than traditional treatment of counseling methods does. Drunk driving attorneys say that if this method proves successful on a large scale, it can save the state of Wisconsin a large amount of money, besides making the roads safer for everyone.

Focusing on the person, not just the numbers

The traditional approach in the state, as in most of the places in America, has been to go tough on the legislation or on the penalties to make changes in the statistics. But Wisconsin has proved that a true and effective approach to treating the problem of repeat offences has to go beyond the numbers and look at the person behind it all.

The goal of the biomarker approach, is not to pinpoint fingers but to learn the history of a repeat offender and use that intimate knowledge to keep them sober so that these repeat offenders can keep themselves and the others sharing the roads with them safe and out of trouble.