The combination of Wisconsin's "drinking culture" and the relative laxity of its drunken driving laws have become something of a societal flashpoint, and to many, a national joke.
But a newcomer to Milwaukee told police that drinking and driving was a habit with him where he came from, and he couldn't understand why folks here were so strict about it.
Where else could he have come from but Las Vegas?
According to police reports:
At 10:07 p.m. Thursday, the 38-year-old man, for now living in Milwaukee, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, first offense, after a patrol officer saw him driving erratically on West North Avenue going west from about 104th Street.
As he followed, he saw the suspect making multiple lane changes without signaling and then accelerating to 50 miles per hour in the 35-mph zone after he passed Mayfair Road.
The officer stopped the man at 116th Street. He smelled a strong odor of alcohol when he talked to the driver, who handed him a credit card when asked for his driver’s license.
Asked to recite the alphabet, the suspect got to “C” on his first try, and pronounced “A, B, C, 3” on his second and last attempt.
Asked if he wanted to try a third time, he simply said that he wasn't used to this sort of demand on his mental capacities, having "just moved here from Vegas."
He failed all other sobriety tests as well and blew a .18 blood alcohol concentration on a breath test.
During booking, the suspect became quite talkative and repeated that he had just moved here from Las Vegas, where he was used to driving after drinking all the time, with no problems from the police.
He suggested that Milwaukee “is a joke” and that he was going to move back to Vegas forthwith.
In other incidents:
Yes, five drinks is too many
At 2:29 a.m. Saturday, a 24-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, first offense, after a patrol officer pulled him over for driving 45 miles per hour in a 30-mph zone on Blue Mound Road.
The officer was monitoring speed in the 6900 block when he clocked the suspect on radar. As he followed, he saw the driver also deviate from his lane.
He pulled the man over in the 6200 block of Blue Mound. The suspect admitted having “about three beers and two shots” earlier. He failed all field sobriety tests, having difficulty keeping his balance.
He refused a breath test and was taken to Wisconsin Heart Hospital for a mandatory blood draw.
One stress leads to another
At 6:36 p.m. Wednesday, a 25-year-old West Allis woman was arrested on suspicion of operating while intoxicated on drugs, second offense, and driving after revocation, after a caller reported her as a reckless and possibly drunken driver and followed her north on Mayfair Road.
An officer caught up near Watertown Plank Road, where the suspect made a U-turn. He followed suit and pulled her over.
The woman said she was under the influence of “nothing, absolutely nothing,” but later admitted she’d taken a double dose of Xanax because of stress.
She failed sobriety tests and was taken to Wisconsin Heart Hospital for a blood draw. She had been convicted of her first OWI in 2008.