(Juneau) Law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin over the weekend launched an enforcement effort targeting alcohol and drug impaired driving. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is among the agencies participating in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign through January 1.
Sergeant Jeremy Wolfe says about every three hours in Wisconsin someone is injured or killed in an alcohol-related crash. He says this is not about stopping or arresting motorists, it is about saving lives and preventing needless tragedies. In 2019, there were over 6,000 alcohol related crashes that injured just under 3,000 people and resulted in 140 deaths. Also, there were over 23,000 OWI convictions.
Wolfe says while alcohol-impaired driving remains a concern, a growing problem involves drivers who use drugs that comprises their ability to safely operate a vehicle. To help combat this issue, around 5,200 officers have been trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement to help detect and remove impaired drivers from the roadways. Wisconsin currently has the most highly-trained Drug Recognition Experts in the nation with 310 and there are 23 multi-jurisdictional high-visibility enforcement task forces operating throughout the year.
Authorities also encourages the public to have a designated driver when going out to drink and to check if bars or taverns have a safe ride home program to help mitigate potential risks. Wolfe says it is their goal to help ensure all travelers reach their destination safely.