St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner (March 17), and Wisconsin State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies are asking travelers to plan ahead.
David Pabst, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Safety says:
“If you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and get arrested for impaired driving, you’re going to lose a lot of green. An OWI conviction can easily cost $10,000 when you include fines, legal fees, court costs, lost work time and higher insurance rates. Worse yet, impaired drivers risk the safety of everyone on and along our roadways.”
The Wisconsin DOT offers tips for drivers this St. Patrick’s Day:
- If you’re feeling buzzed, don’t get behind the wheel. Buzzed driving is drunk driving.
- Some taverns and restaurants have programs to provide patrons a safe ride home.
- Visit tlw.org and select ‘Safe Ride’ in the top right corner
- Download the free Wisconsin DOT Drive Sober Mob Drive Sober mobile app (wi.trafficsafety.org).
- Includes a designated driver selector and find-a-ride feature that uses a smart phone’s GPS to identify transportation alternatives
- Never allow an impaired person to get behind the wheel. If you observe a driver you suspect is impaired, call 911.
In 2018, according to the DOT, preliminary data indicates 6,236 alcohol-related crashes occurred, resulting in 3,278 injuries and 159 deaths.
“Law enforcement officers are well-trained to spot impaired drivers and they’ll be keeping an especially sharp eye out this weekend. Through public awareness and law enforcement, our primary goal is to discourage drivers from ever making the dangerous and irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel impaired.”