During Labor Day weekend, troopers on the lookout for 'impaired drivers risking other motorists' lives'

MILWAUKEE -- FOX6 News on Saturday, Aug. 31 rode along with the Wisconsin State Patrol, one of several law enforcement agencies working overtime during the Labor Day weekend to keep you safe on the road.

On Friday, the Milwaukee Police Department hosted a "Street Roll Call" to discourage impaired driving. Following the roll call, 40 law enforcement agencies from Milwaukee and Waukesha counties deployed OWI Task Force officers into communities to detect, stop, and arrest drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or narcotics.

"I think it definitely happens at all times of day," said Trooper Anna Schopp. "We just want to make sure that people reach their destinations safely, since there is going to be increased travel."

Troopers like Schopp were among those working longer hours in an effort to "stop, test, arrest, and lock up as many impaired drivers as necessary to prevent needless crashes, injuries and deaths on our roadways.”

"You just watch for behaviors that may not appear normal -- swerving in lanes, crossing lines, following too closely, and maybe going very slow speeds," said Schopp.

Statewide, nearly 25,000 drivers were convicted of OWI in 2018, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and 159 people were killed.

The goal of the campaign isn't to punish drivers.

"We want to make sure there's no impaired drivers out there risking other motorists' lives," said Schopp.

The Wisconsin State Patrol depends on help from the public as well. If you a driver you suspect is impaired, give them a call if you're able to safely do so, so that they can track the driver down.