August 29, 2014

Drivers urged to stay sober, stay safe

State law enforcement officials are urging caution over the holiday on both the roads and waterways.

Whether you’re behind the wheel of a car or on a boat, drinking and driving is illegal. Wisconsin has been able to reduce alcohol-related crashes in recent years, but State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable says there were still over 5,300 in 2011. In those crashes, 225 people were killed and 3,000 more were injured.

Huxtable says many of those deaths and injuries could have been easily prevented, had people designated a driver or made other arrangements to get home after drinking.

On state waterways, 23 people were killed and 80 injured last year in alcohol-related boating accidents. DNR Conservation Warden Todd Schaller says navigating a boat while drinking can be just as dangerous as driving a car.

In either situation, Schaller says Fourth of July plans that involve consuming alcohol should also include designating a driver.

Law enforcement officials are stepping up patrols for drunk drivers during the month of July.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:14)