Last year in Wisconsin, alcohol-related crashes resulted in 161 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries.
"Whether it's caused by alcohol or any combination of legal or illegal drugs, impaired drivers endanger everyone along our roadways," said Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove. "During the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over initiative, our officers will patrol in greater numbers and for longer hours to help prevent impaired drivers from killing or injuring themselves or someone else."
While alcohol-impaired drivers remain a significant problem, a growing concern is drugged driving - people whose ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by legal or illegal drugs including prescription and over-the-counter medications. To help combat the problem:
• Nearly 3,800 Wisconsin law enforcement officers have been trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) to help detect and remove impaired drivers from the roadways
• Wisconsin has 276 Drug Recognition Experts - among the most in the nation
• There are 25 multi-jurisdictional, high-visibility OWl enforcement task forces operating throughout the year across the state
Rather than risk an OWl arrest or crash, the Pierce County Sheriff's Department urges drivers to follow these common sense suggestions:
• Report impaired drivers to law enforcement by calling 911. Provide as much detail as possible on the driver, vehicle, and location
• If you plan to celebrate, identify a sober designated driver. Never allow someone else to get behind the wheel impaired
• 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 taverns and restaurants have programs to provide patrons a safe ride home.
Visit www.tlw.org/ and click on Safe Ride
"With the public's help and through our year-round enforcement efforts, we're working to make our roadways as safe as possible for all travelers," said Hove.