Recovering Drunk Moonlights as DUI-Buster
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A suburban father and recovering alcoholic in Appleton, Wisconsin has taken matters to his own hands in the fight against drunk driving, patrolling the streets at night under the alias "OWI Hunter." “Getting drunk, it's a personal choice, but getting behind the wheel, nobody has a right to do,” says Brad, a former drunk driver himself, who now devotes his free time to keeping intoxicated drivers off the roads. “I look for people who might be stumbling getting into cars,” says Brad, who waits outside bars in his minivan on weekend nights. “Kind of a second set of ears and eyes for police.” When he spots a potential drunk driver, he follows them to confirm their shaky driving, before calling 911. He's tallied 42 arrests in the 18 months of his work. Drunk driving is a particularly pervasive problem in boozy Wisconsin: 26% of residents admitted to driving while intoxicated in a 2009 study, and state courts handed out 44,000 DUI convictions last year. Many volunteers pitch in to help Appleton police, but Brad is “certainly unusual,” says local police captain Todd Freeman. Local authorities laid down a few ground rules and asked Brad to follow traffic laws, but they've given him the green light. "It's not something that we'd advertise welcoming other people to do that," says Freeman, "but I think Brad's unique approach and his way of being positive throughout helped his cause.” Check out the OWI Hunter's handiwork on his Facebook and YouTube.