Dane County Sheriff speaks about drunken driving - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Dane County Sheriff speaks about drunken driving

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MADISON (WKOW) -- New Year's Eve is a time of celebration and often those parties involve alcohol, so as the bars and restaurants prepare, so do local law enforcement officers.

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney joined Wake Up Wisconsin to talk about his department's efforts to combat drinking and driving. He says there will be additional Dane County deputies on the roads looking specifically for drunk drivers, but also for stranded drivers.

With the extreme cold we're seeing, the sheriff's office wants to make sure it doesn't take too long for law enforcement to reach a driver who may slide off the road or be in a ditch.

The Madison Police Department is also stepping up patrols.

Mahoney urges revelers to plan ahead, wear warm clothing, or have a blanket in your car.  Also, while you may not be driving under the influence, he says another driver may be, so drive defensively.

The Madison area has a lot of options for those who chose to drink on New Years, including free busing through Madison Metro from 7 p.m. Tuesday to 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.  The Dane County Tavern League is also offering help through its "Safe Ride" program.  If you are in need of a ride inform your bartender and they will find you transportation.

Last year, Mahoney says 7,000 people in Dane County took advantage of the program.

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