Wis. Court: DWI Laws Apply To Driving On Lakes, Too

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state appeals court says Wisconsin’s drunken driving laws apply on frozen lakes.

The case arises from an incident on Lake Winnebago in January 2011. Sheriff’s deputies discovered Todd Anderson of Oshkosh behind the wheel of a sports utility vehicle on the ice. According to the appeals court ruling, his blood alcohol percentage was 0.365 percent.

Prosecutors charged Anderson with drunken driving. A judge dismissed the case, though, ruling Wisconsin’s drunken driving laws apply to premises open to public motor vehicle use and the lake didn’t qualify.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the term “premises” doesn’t have a fixed meaning and can include lakes.

According to the ruling, Anderson represented himself on appeal. A message left at a listing for him wasn’t immediately returned.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Chuck

    I got no issue with this ruling – you on a public lake with other people so live with it. You headed to the highways anyway. Unless to anotherfish house – then walk dummy, walk
    Imagine we’ll see many with their 10th DUI within a few years lol

    • Grynch

      Then you can pay to warehouse them in the system when they get caught for ice fishing and having some beers. You can pay for the cops to patrol frozen lakes instead of busy roads and dark alleyways as well. And you can pay an excessive amount of money for a fishing license and an ice house permit when they raise the rates because people aren’t going fishing on the lake as much as they used to.

      The only bad instances of drinking on a frozen lake and operating a motor vehicle that I hear of is some moron killing himself, not somebody else.


    Actually, when I was living up there and went along with friends who were ice fishing, we used the lake ice to cool our drinks. We did more drinking than cashing fish.

    • Chuck

      Me too — best use for ice and slush there was. Fishin’ – say what? lol

  • jackactionhero

    “Sheriff’s deputies discovered Todd Anderson of Oshkosh behind the wheel of a sports utility vehicle on the ice.”

    Really? And how did they do this? They were patrolling on the ice instead of investigating crimes or working the beat, eh? That’s nice. How would they have come to someone’s assistance in town if they were busy peeking in ice shack windows?

  • xxx

    It the judge dismissed the case, then the case was dismissed.
    Why did the case to to the appeals court?

    • ez

      The state appealed the case. As long as the court did not acquit the state can appeal.

  • Butter get an attorney

    The county attorney on tax dollars appealed the verdict costing roughly $5800 during the process to this date. Now Mr. Anderson and every other person caught drinking and driving on the ice will be responsible to pay the fines associated with the charge. It cost us up front but boy do they make money out back! Typical

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