The Sun Prairie Police Department (SPPD) recently announced its “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” participation will run through Jan. 1, 2020.
“The holiday season is a festive time for many, but it can quickly turn tragic if drivers make the dangerous and irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel impaired,” SPPD Sgt. Jason Lefeber said about the campaign, which runs through the New Year’s holiday.
Last year in Wisconsin, alcohol-related crashes resulted in 160 deaths and nearly 3,300 injuries.
Lefeber said while alcohol-impaired drivers are a serious concern, law enforcement faces a growing challenge with drug-impaired drivers — people whose ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by legal or illegal drugs including prescription and over-the-counter medications.
To help combat impaired driving, Wisconsin has:
• About 6,000 police officers trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) to help detect and remove impaired drivers from the roadways;
• 301 highly-trained Drug Recognition Experts — among the most in the nation;
• 23 multi-jurisdictional high-visibility enforcement task forces operating throughout the year, across the state.
Lefeber said there are several ways citizens can help:
• Never allow someone to get behind the wheel impaired. Find a safe alternative to get them home. If you plan to celebrate, identify a sober designated driver;
• Report impaired drivers to law enforcement by calling 911. Provide as much detail as possible on the driver, vehicle, and location;
• Download the free “Drive Sober” mobile app from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) website. The app includes a “find a ride” feature to help locate mass transit and taxi services.
Some taverns and restaurants have programs to provide patrons a safe ride home — find them by visiting www.tlw.org/ and click on Safe Ride.
• Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up – every trip. Watch your speed and eliminate distractions.
“Safety along our roadways is not just a law enforcement issue,” Lefeber added. “Preventing crashes, injuries and deaths requires the cooperation of all motorists and citizens.”