MADISON (WKOW) -- Law enforcement from across the state will be out in full force to crack down on drunk driving.
Approximately 330 law enforcement agencies are participating in the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign beginning Friday, August 16, through Labor Day, September 2. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, approximately 37 percent of all traffic fatalities in Wisconsin last year involved alcohol.
"Although drunken driving is entirely preventable, it continues to devastate individuals, families and whole communities," State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable said. "Last year, alcohol-related crashes killed 223 people in Wisconsin and injured nearly 3,000. Many of the dead and injured were innocent victims of drunken drivers."
The UW-Madison Police Department is one of the agencies participating in the campaign. The department, along with other agencies, will be patrolling in greater numbers and for longer hours in the weeks ahead, specifically targeting impaired drivers.
"This is a crime that's 100-percent preventable," Lt. Mark Silbernagel from UW-Madison Police said. "If you choose to drink, it's easy to designate a sober driver or find a safe ride home – there are no excuses."
"During the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' crackdown and throughout the year, law enforcement officers will strive to stop the senseless slaughter from drunken driving," Major Huxtable said. "There were nearly 27,000 convictions for drunken driving in Wisconsin last year, so officers are working hard to get impaired drivers off our roads. But they cannot catch every drunken driver. All motorists need to take personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of others. In addition, everyone must be courageous enough to stop a friend or loved one who's impaired from getting behind the wheel. Motorists can report drunken drivers by calling 911. Parents also need to set a good example for their own children and teenagers, who are future drivers, by always driving sober. We all must to do our part to prevent drunken driving."
The DOT does have a free "Zero In Wisconsin Drive Sober" mobile app. The app includes a find-a-ride feature, a blood alcohol estimator, and a designated driver selector. You can download that app here.
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