50 Years On, a Dramatic Sign Warns About Wisconsin Drunk Driving

 Your Hump-day Recess: Getting Tough on Beer

You might not have seen it, even if you’ve been in Wisconsin all your life. It sits at the intersection of Highway BD and Highway 33 in Baraboo, about an hour north of Madison.

Who put it up? No one seems too sure, but residents agree it’s been around for a long time. The car in the illustration looks like a 1960s or early 1970s machine, and drivers in the area have been seeing it for fifty years or more. One former resident claimed on Facebook that it was there by 1960. Another says it was repainted at one point.

DUI sign

Photo: Baraboo Scanner

The uniquely Wisconsinite aspect of the sign is the emphasis on beer. Beer is a very popular in the state, which ranks number 6 in annual per capita beer consumption (35.8 gallons per year). A 2015 report showed Wisconsin to be the nation’s heaviest-drinking state, with the average number of drinks consumed each year to be 148 drinks higher than the national average.  The state also reports more binge drinkers than any other. Little surprise that Wisconsin drunk driving is a problem.

Beer is sometimes considered a “soft” alcoholic option. People have been known to say, “I’m not drunk – I’ve only been drinking beer.” Yet beer can be as intoxicating as any other booze, provided the amount is large enough. And in Wisconsin, it often is.

The sign, then, is directed at people who think they can drive because they’ve only had beer to drink. Ultimately it will take a lot more than one sign, however dramatic, to change the state’s drinking and driving habits.  But we hope it stays up just the same.

A hat tip to Baraboo Scanner, which provides a forum for discussing  police, fire, and rescue operations in the area, as they happen. The photograph is used with their permission.

To see the sign in its natural habitat, go here.

Your Hump Day Recess: Every Wednesday LifeSafer brings you something a little different, related to the worlds of road safety, to ease your progress over Hump Day and through the week.
Previous Hump Days: a German Ignition Interlock spoof from 1960, our Top 10 Worst Crash Tests, a different kind of Anti-DUI messageHow Not to Dodge a Parking Ticket, the world’s worst traffic jams, a dramatic buzzed driving PSA , an offbeat ad from New ZealandVince and Larry, our favorite crash test dummies, some excellent Soviet anti-drunk-driving posters, a lesson on how buzzed driving can ruin your love life, South Australia to Drunk Drivers: Grow Up!, a woman calls 911 to report herself for DUI, Felix the Cat and Drunk Driving,  DUIs who crash vintage cars – (ouch!), Woman Unwittingly Creates Self-Driving Car, A Brilliant PSA from Australia, a Drunk Driver Crashes $4 Million Car, Drunk Driving in 1910, a Superb New Think! PSA from the UKDrunk Driving in 1955: New Breath Test Technology Will Save the Day!, the Best Animated Gifs About Drunk Driving, Angle Parking: A Surreal DUI Stop Photo, a Hertz Advertisement that Could Have Used Another Set of Eyes, a Laugh Out Loud Anti-Drunk Driving Ad, How to Beat a Breathalyzer with Peanut Butter … Not!Who Knew? GM Invented the DUI Ignition Interlock in 1970 a souvenir from back when drunk driving was funny, and a Russian Anti-Drunk Driving Poster from the 1960s