About one-third of all traffic deaths across the United States involve drunken drivers.
Last year in Wisconsin alone, 6,255 alcohol-related crashes resulted in 161 deaths and 3,293 injuries. In addition, there were 24,624 traffic convictions for operating a motor vehicle impaired. Twenty-eight percent of all traffic fatalities were alcohol-related.
At the same time, this and other states have been logging an increase in drugged driving by people on legal or illegal drugs including opioids, prescription and over-the-counter medications.
That’s why local law enforcement officials again are participating in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
From Aug. 16 through Labor Day Sept. 2, area law enforcement officers will be working extra hours looking for reckless driving behaviors.
Now, the goal is not to simply stop or cite motorists. The real purpose is to discourage people from ever making the dangerous and irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel impaired.
That’s because every 2.5 hours in Wisconsin, someone is injured or killed in an alcohol-related crash.
Citizens can help in many ways. Never allow someone to drive impaired and choose a designated driver when you drink. If you’re feeling buzzed, your BAC likely is above the 0.08 limit and should not drive. Rather than risk an arrest, take a taxicab, bus, Uber or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
If you see a driver that you suspect is impaired, call 911 and provide as much detail as you can. Protect yourself and your passengers by buckling up, watch your speed, be patient and alert.
And download the free Zero In Wisconsin “Drive Sober” mobile app on zeroinwisconsin.gov. It includes a blood-alcohol estimator, designated driver selector, find-a-ride feature (which uses a smart phone’s GPS to locate alternative transportation), along with interactive games that help determine whether drivers should give up their keys.
So what are you waiting for? Start today, and tell your friends as well: Drive sober and don’t get pulled over.