Even though many students will be engaged in virtual learning this fall, road safety is always of the utmost importance. To help keep safe on our roadways, officers from the UW-Parkside Police and Public Safety Department are part of the state-wide traffic safety Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which will be running from Aug 21 to Sept 7. UW-Parkside police officers and officers across the state will be patrolling in greater numbers, and for longer hours, to keep impaired drivers off the road and to enforce the safety-belt law.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there were 23,803 convictions for drunken driving last year. There were 140 fatalities last year in alcohol related crashes and 2,918 injuries in Wisconsin. About every 3 hours someone is injured or killed in an alcohol related crash. Nearly 25% of traffic fatalities were alcohol related.
In addition to alcohol related offense many states are seeing a growing problem with drugged driving. People whose ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by legal medications (prescription over the counter) and/or illegal drugs. Currently there are 5,223 officers trained in (ARIDE) Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement in Wisconsin enhancing the ability to detect impaired drivers.
Drunken driving is entirely preventable. If we can deter people from getting behind the wheel when they’re not sober, we will make progress toward the goal of reaching zero preventable traffic deaths in Wisconsin. If you see a driver that you suspect is impaired, call 911 and provide as much detail as can regarding the driver, the vehicle, and specific location.
The message during the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign and throughout the year is simple: If you’re driving while impaired, you will be arrested. The devastating consequences of a drunken driving arrest include major embarrassment, expenses costing up to $10,000.00 mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on all your vehicles, and possibly jail time.
Driving drunk will be a decision you’ll regret the rest of your life, if you are lucky enough to live.
Instead of risking an arrest and possibly a violent crash, we urge everyone to make responsible decisions. Choose a sober designated driver before you start drinking. If you’re feeling buzzed, it’s likely that you are over the 0.08 blood- or breath-alcohol limit and should not drive, find another way home such as public transportation, a taxicab or ask a sober friend to drive you home.