MILWAUKEE - Stepped-up patrols begin this week to prevent tragedies caused by impaired driving on our roads. Officers from Wisconsin State Patrol and law enforcement agencies across the state will work together to stop impaired drivers throughout the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
This enforcement partnership begins Wednesday, AuG. 17 and runs through Labor Day; a time when many are traveling for end of summer celebrations. All available State Patrol troopers and inspectors will step up enforcement of impaired driving offenses during the campaign.
"Our goal of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is to eliminate the dangers of drunk driving and work towards zero deaths on Wisconsin roads," State Patrol Superintendent Tim Carnahan said. "Impaired driving is a significant public health risk, it's a public safety risk, and it's a risk to the whole transportation system."
Someone is injured or killed in an impaired driving crash every two hours in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Last year, alcohol-related crashes killed 166 people and 74 died in crashes involving drugs.
Throughout the year and during the campaign, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation aims to raise awareness of the dangers of impaired driving by educating the community about the importance of planning for a safe ride home. Wisconsin State Patrol’s August Law of the Month focuses on the Drive Sober message.
Special training for Drive Sober enforcement
Wisconsin has among the most Drug Recognition Experts in the nation. WisDOT operates the DRE program, certifying officers statewide. Wisconsin State Patrol has 14 DREs who can identify the effects of different types of drugs.
In addition, more than 6,300 Wisconsin officers are trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement. ARIDE training helps officers better identify the signs of drug and alcohol impairment in drivers and make an informed decision on whether to arrest.
"Apprehending drunk drivers is one of our most significant and major enforcement goals because so many people are killed and injured every year," Superintendent Carnahan said. "Every day, our troopers and inspectors are out looking for impaired drivers, even during routine traffic stops."
Plan ahead for safe travel
- If you plan to celebrate, identify a sober designated driver, or find a safe alternative way home. Never allow someone who is impaired to get behind the wheel.
- Protect yourself and your passengers every time you travel. Buckle up, phone down. Watch your speed and eliminate distractions.
- If you suspect a driver is impaired, pull over and call 911. Provide as much detail as possible on the driver, vehicle, and location.
- Download the free Drive Sober mobile app from the WisDOT website. The app includes a "find a ride" feature to help locate mass transit and taxi services.
- Some bars and restaurants have programs to provide patrons a safe ride home.