Friday, August 15, 2008

Nationwide crackdown on drunken driving begins Friday

Approximately 305 law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will join a nationwide crackdown on drunken driving from Friday, Aug. 15 through Labor Day, Sept. 1.

The “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” crackdown will combine intensified law enforcement with a federally funded media campaign to deter impaired driving.

Wisconsin has the highest rate of drunken driving in the nation. More than 26 percent of Wisconsin adults who were surveyed admitted they had driven under the influence of alcohol in the previous year, according to a nationwide study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released in April. Last year, alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin killed 337 people and injured 5,552, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol Bureau of Transportation Safety, which is sponsoring the crackdown statewide.

“We hope that people will voluntarily make the responsible decision to never drive while impaired,” said Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent David Collins. “But if they make the irresponsible choice to drive while under the influence of alcohol, we’ll be ready to arrest them. We also ask that drivers report any drunken drivers they see to a law enforcement agency. Too many people, too many families, and too many communities are devastated every day by drunken drivers. And this careless disregard for human life must be stopped.”

To prevent drunken driving, the Wisconsin State Patrol offers the following suggestions:
  • Choose a sober designated driver before you start to drink.
  • If you’re feeling buzzed, you probably are over the 0.08 blood/breath alcohol limit and should not drive. Take mass transit or a taxicab or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
  • Some taverns and restaurants have programs to provide patrons with a safe ride home. (Visit for more information.)

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