MADISON (WKOW) -- from Dane Co. Sheriff: In addition to extra patrols over the New Year's holiday, more Dane County sheriff's deputies will be on the roads Friday and Saturday nights in the New Year as part of stepped up efforts to arrest drunk drivers, County Executive Kathleen Falk and Sheriff Dave Mahoney announced Monday.
"Every year in Dane County our deputies respond to hundreds of car crashes that injure and kill people, and these tragedies are preventable," Falk said. "We're putting more deputies out on patrol to get drunk drivers off our roads. 800 people a year getting hurt in this county in crashes involving alcohol is way too much pain, way too much danger, and way too much of a cost to our communities."
The new drunk driving patrols will be funded in part by an additional $50,000 Falk included in the 2009 county budget.
It's part of the County Executive's initiative to reduce the economic and human harms resulting from excessive drinking in Dane County.
The new county funding will cover 1000 hours of deputy overtime and is in addition to state and federal drunk driving enforcement grants the sheriff's office will work to secure in the New Year.
"Traffic safety always has been, and always will be, a top priority for the Dane County Sheriff's Office," Sheriff Dave Mahoney said. "We are pleased to have the extra dollars in the 2009 budget to focus on keeping drunk drivers off our roads. Our message to motorists is simple...Don't drink and drive."
Falk and Mahoney also announced the county has secured an additional $60,000 in funding from the state to continue the sheriff's department's dedicated service patrol on the Beltline (Hwy 12/14/18/151).
The Beltline patrol helps locate, respond to, and clear traffic incidents more quickly.
That helps reduce congestion and delays on the busy thoroughfare.