“Booze and Belts:” Law enforcement agencies will intensify enforcement Dec. 12th – 20th

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- To make streets and highways safer during the upcoming holiday season, law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will mobilize for the annual “Booze and Belts” campaign from Friday, Dec. 12, to Saturday, Dec. 20.

“More officers will be on patrol for longer hours looking for drunken drivers and unbuckled motorists,” says David Pabst, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) Bureau of Transportation Safety. “High-visibility law enforcement mobilizations, like Booze and Belts, are helping to save lives and reduce injuries in traffic crashes.”

In the past 10 years, fatalities from alcohol-related crashes dropped from 348 in 2003 to 185 in 2013, which is a 47 percent reduction. Injuries from alcohol-related crashes dropped from 6,445 in 2003 to 2,660 in 2013, which is a 59 percent reduction. In addition, seat belt use in Wisconsin is at an all-time high with nearly 85 percent of drivers and passengers buckling up, according to WisDOT.

Pabst says, “The goal of law enforcement officers during Booze and Belts and throughout the year is to save lives and reduce injuries by getting motorists to buckle up and drive sober – not to issue more tickets or make more arrests. We all must work together to attain zero preventable traffic deaths in Wisconsin, and there’s no better time of year to make progress toward that goal than right now.”