State and local law enforcement will kick off its annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign today.
Alcohol-related crashes kill an average of 200 people on Wisconsin roads each year and thousands more are injured. Approximately 330 law enforcement agencies across the state are out in force for the next couple of weeks to combat drunken driving during the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
Wisconsin State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable with the Bureau of Transportation Safety says the goal of the campaign is to crack down on impaired driving, a leading and preventable cause of fatal crashes in the state. “We do have information that shows that it is very successful. The campaign does raise the awareness, but it also does put additional law enforcement officers out there watching for the violations, removing that impaired driver so that that person doesn’t cause a problem to the other motoring public.”
Approximately, 45 percent of all fatal traffic crashes in Wisconsin are alcohol related. Last year, there were approximately 27,000 convictions for drunken driving in Wisconsin. Of course there’s the fine. Huxtable says the amount depends on the blood alcohol level and whether it’s the first offense or higher.
“Generally speaking, the actual fine is somewhere in the area of $900 at a minimum and goes significantly up from there. But the actual cost when you add in the loss of the driver’s license, the ignition interlock device (IID), those types of things, the costs are quite substantial.”
Need help? There’s an app for that. A “Drive Sober” application works with Androids and iPhones. The application is free and provides a guideline for a user’s blood alcohol level, based on information entered. It also provides a list of public transportation and designated drivers available, based on location.
The app is available at www.zeroinwisconsin.gov. The campaign begins Friday, August 16, and goes through Labor Day, September 2.