Wisconsin Court Praises Drunken Concert Goer

July 16, 2009 - 4:47 PM
An Illinois teen knew he was too drunk to drive home after a Dave Matthews Band concert south of Milwaukee. So he fell asleep in his car, only to be awoken by a state trooper. Travis Peterson, 19, of Dixon, Ill., said even though he told the officer he was drunk and sleeping it off, the trooper ordered him to leave because the lot was being cleared.
Madison, Wis. (AP) - An Illinois teen knew he was too drunk to drive home after a Dave Matthews Band concert south of Milwaukee. So he fell asleep in his car, only to be awoken by a state trooper. Travis Peterson, 19, of Dixon, Ill., said even though he told the officer he was drunk and sleeping it off, the trooper ordered him to leave because the lot was being cleared.
 
Once out of the parking lot, Peterson was arrested for drunken driving. He was subsequently found guilty and ordered to spend 60 days in jail.
 
A Wisconsin appeals court on Wednesday commended Peterson for doing the right thing by trying to sleep it off, and said the trial court was wrong not to let him argue that police had entrapped him.
 
The state had argued successfully at trial that people who choose to drink too much can't argue they've been entrapped when stopped for drunken driving. The 2nd District Court of Appeals disagreed.
 
"Drinking alcohol to excess, while inadvisable and unhealthy, is not unlawful by itself," the appeals court said.
 
It did not address the fact that Peterson was underage. Peterson's attorney, Andrew Mishlove, said that was irrelevant given the other issues at stake.