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WISCONSIN – Law enforcement agencies across the country begin the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign today. The national campaign’s top priority is saving lives by getting impaired drivers off the roads.

The holiday season is upon us, which means parties and celebrations. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic still among us, Americans have begun to rebuild the lives they once knew – including holiday gatherings. Whether people gather in small numbers in homes or larger events out on the town, one thing remains constant: driving impaired is never safe. As a community, it is important to make safety a priority, especially when on the roads.

Impaired Driving Raises Concerns

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), alcohol-related crashes claimed the lives of 167 people in 2020; more than one-quarter of all traffic fatalities across the state. “Someone is injured or killed in an alcohol-related crash about every three hours in Wisconsin,” noted a WisDOT spokesperson in a news release.

Drugged driving has also been on the rise, from 59 deaths in 2019 to 80 deaths in 2020, a staggering 35% increase.

Law enforcement agencies state-wide are increasing their efforts for road safety with the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. The goal of this national effort, which runs Dec. 15 through New Year’s Day, is to get impaired drivers off the road, preventing tragedies during the holidays. This is more about saving lives than stopping, citing or arresting impaired drivers.

“The holidays are a time for celebration with loved ones, but we ask that you celebrate responsibly,” State Patrol Superintendent Anthony Burrell said. “We need every driver to think of their family and friends when getting behind the wheel. Always make responsible decisions. Never drink and drive.”

The state of Wisconsin has among the highest number of specially-trained Drug Recognition Experts in the nation. Add that to the 25 multi-jurisdictional OWI task forces which operate across the state and it is clear that this campaign has been well-staffed.

Prepare for the Holidays

Law enforcement officers offer these tips for those who are heading out to celebrate:

If you plan to celebrate, identify a sober designated driver, or find a safe alternative way home. Never allow someone who is impaired to get behind the wheel.

If you suspect a driver is impaired call 911. Provide as much detail as possible on the driver, vehicle, and location.

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 or rideshare services.

Some bars and restaurants have programs to provide patrons a safe ride home.

Protect yourself and your passengers every time you travel. Watch your speed and eliminate distractions. Buckle up and put your phone down. Every trip, every time.

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs

Local Law Enforcement

Need to contact local law enforcement? Contact information for the 14 police departments in Racine County can be found on the Police Departments page of the Racine County website.

Holidays in Racine County

Read more about what’s happening during the holidays with these stories from the Racine County Eye.

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