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Designated Driver Is Key To Safe And Enjoyable Season-DOT

Fairchild Air Force Base

A few more eyes will be watching Wisconsin's roads during the holiday party season.

The DOT has begun the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.

Safety expert Michael Schwendau from the Bureau of Traffic Safety says the State Patrol and local agencies cooperate to up enforcement of operating while intoxicated laws.

He says they provide funds to local enforcement agencies...

"...So we make funds available for departments to work overtime hours and target times and places throughout the state where there's higher rates of crashes and injury..."

Schwendau says it's normal for people to go out and celebrate, but he says personal responsibility plays a big part in safety...

"If you plan to celebrate, designate a sober driver out of your group or stay there until you are sober. And if time is not on your side for that, call for a ride...the Tavern League has a Safe Ride program..."

In 2018, alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin resulted in 160 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries. Also last year there were 23,000 OWI convictions in the state. Schwendau says arrests are made as well for impairment because of illegal drugs or legal prescription drugs taken beyond prescribed levels. He says those drugs mixed with alcohol are especially dangerous.

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