OWI Task Force makes 16 drunk driving arrests on "Black Out" Wednesday

WAUWATOSA -- An OWI Task Force released numbers from its increased patrols the night before Thanksgiving (Wednesday, November 21st). 

13 law enforcement agencies worked together to increase patrols on "Black Out Night" -- the night before Thanksgiving, considered by some to be the biggest drinking night of the year.

Law enforcement officials made themselves visible ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday -- encouraging those who chose to drink to do so responsibly, and not get behind the wheel. 

Officers with the Southeastern Wisconsin High-Visibility Enforcement OWI Task Force held a roll call in the street in Wauwatosa. The Wauwatosa Police Department had 20% more cops on the roads on Wednesday night, with the extra enforcement and overtime paid for by state and federal funding.

"(Wednesday is) famous for the biggest drinking night of the year for the bar scene, so we are stepping up patrols," Wauwatosa Patrol Specialist Ryan Cepican said.

The OWI Task Force utilizes a "stop-test-arrest" method towards deterring drunk drivers. 

The Task Force works to: 

    Overall, officers stopped 214 vehicles and made a total of 16 arrests for drunk driving. They also issued a total of 169 citations for other traffic violations. 

    The Wisconsin DOT says there were 225 fatal crashes last year, involving alcohol. The hope is these ramped up patrols will curtail those numbers.