As the busy summer travel season starts to wrap up, the Wisconsin State Patrol wants to ensure everyone is making responsible decisions to get to their destinations safely.
The State Patrol’s August Law of the Month reminds drivers getting behind the wheel while impaired is dangerous and can be deadly.
Every three hours, someone in Wisconsin is killed or hurt in an alcohol-related crash.
Alcohol played a role in 6,050 crashes across the state last year; 167 lives could have been saved by getting a safe ride home.
“Every injury or death caused by impaired driving is preventable,” said Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent Anthony Burrell. “Our priority is to keep people safe, so we want everyone to protect themselves and others on the roads by planning ahead.”
While more than a quarter of all traffic deaths in 2020 involved alcohol, it’s not the only intoxicant impacting safe driving in Wisconsin. Legal prescriptions and illegal drugs are also a growing problem on the roads.
Last year, 2,250 crashes in Wisconsin involved drugs, including 80 fatalities. Those numbers are up from the previous year.
State officials are working to bring down these sobering statistics. This month, the State Patrol will join in a nationwide effort to crack down on impaired driving during the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. That starts August 18 and runs through Labor Day.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Transportation Safety is analyzing crash data to identify hotspots for OWI violations. State Patrol will help local law enforcement agencies focus their outreach and enforcement in certain areas. This pilot program is being developed in 12 counties in Wisconsin.
“These efforts will help eliminate impaired driving but can only be successful if everyone in the community steps up to do their part, too,” Superintendent Burrell said. “Do not get behind the wheel while impaired and don’t let someone else do so either.”
If you see someone you suspect may be impaired on the roads, call 911.
You can also download the free “Drive Sober” mobile app, which includes a “find a ride” feature to help locate mass transit and taxi services.
Additional resources are available on the WisDOT website.