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Law Enforcement On Lookout for Drunk Holiday Driving

Vilas and Oneida County Sheriff’s Departments are stepping up drunk driving patrols starting this weekend.  The statewide Booze and Belts campaigns also targets drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts. 

Vilas County Captain Russ Kennedy says grants from the state Department of Transportation pay for deputies to work overtime, targeting drunk driving and unbuckled seatbelts. 

“The state will reimburse the county for overtime efforts to go out and enforce intoxicated operation violations. And you know, you get the other seatbelt violations as well, and speeding and that kind of thing”

The DOT reports there are a high number of accidents statewide this time of year.  In Oneida County three extra squads will be out during peak hours between 7 pm to 3 am. 

But Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Lloyd Gauthier says it’s not just about cracking down. It’s also about prevention. 

“The goal for us is not to write more tickets and arrest more people. The goal is to prevent injuries and accidents and deaths. And therefore with this media release and also with the visibility of our squads, we’re hoping people will make those better decisions.”

The Booze and Belts Campaign runs this Friday through December 21st…in both Vilas and Oneida Counties.  

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