Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Drive Sober Initiative Now through Labor Day

Hundreds of law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin will patrol in greater numbers for longer hours looking for impaired drivers during the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which began on Friday, August 17th and continues through Labor Day (Monday, September 3rd).

As part of the annual event, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) pair public education and outreach, underwritten by federal funds, with stepped-up law enforcement efforts throughout the state.

“The Labor Day weekend means additional traffic and greater potential for impaired drivers who jeopardize the safety of everyone along our roadways,” said Transportation Secretary Dave Ross. “During this summer initiative and throughout the year, we need all motorists to travel safely and responsibly.”

Last year in Wisconsin, alcohol-related crashes resulted in 161 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries. Also last year, there were over 24,200 traffic convictions in Wisconsin for operating a motor vehicle while impaired (OWI). While alcohol-impaired driving remains a concern, many states, including Wisconsin, have seen an increase in drugged driving – people whose ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by legal or illegal drugs including opioids, prescription and over-the-counter medications.

To help combat the problem, WisDOT oversees 25 multi-jurisdictional, high-visibility OWI enforcement task forces that operate year-round across the state. To help detect and remove impaired drivers from roadways, nearly 3,800 Wisconsin law enforcement officers have been trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE).

Wisconsin has 276 highly-trained Drug Recognition Experts – among the most in the nation.

Things citizens can do:

  • If you see a driver suspected of being impaired, call 911. Provide as much detail as possible about 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 which includes a “find a ride” feature to help locate transportation alternatives.
  • Some taverns and restaurants have programs to provide patrons a safe ride home.

For more information, contact the WisDOT Office of Public Affairs at 608- 266-3581 or send an email.