BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV)
The Brown County Sheriff’s Office says that intoxicated driving continues to be an issue all across Wisconsin, and so they and other law enforcement agencies are partnering together to increase awareness of the perils of impaired driving, with the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
“Every 2 1/2 hours, somewhere in the state of Wisconsin, someone is injured or killed from an OWI,” says Dan Sandberg, Captain, Brown County Sheriff’s Office “Here in Brown County, somewhere around 40% of our fatal crashes involve alcohol and drugs while they’re driving.”
The aim of the campaign is to increase awareness of the dangers of intoxicated driving. Last year in Wisconsin, alcohol-related crashes resulted in 159 deaths and nearly 3,300 injuries.
“If someone wants to make a poor decision, and it impacts their life only and only impacts them and hurts them, that’s one thing, if you make that poor choice,” Sandberg says. “But these poor choices when you’re drinking and driving, usually impact other people. Every 2 1/2 hours, somebody’s getting injured or killed because of a drunk driver, and that’s our biggest concern.”
Penalties for intoxicated driving are not more severe during the campaign, though extra patrols will be in place.
“It’s more of an awareness campaign,” Sandberg explains. “On average, a drunk driving arrest can cause someone upwards of $10,000 between the fines, the attorney fees, insurance rates are gonna go up… Not to mention the potential jail time for OWI seconds, thirds, and fourths and higher.”
Sandberg says you can help prevent tragedy by reporting any impaired drivers to law enforcement, and to never allow anyone to get behind the wheel impaired.
“Find a safe alternative,” he says. “You got SafeRide programs out there at the bars. You’ve got Uber, you’ve got Lyft, you’ve got taxis…. designated drivers that you can have, to not drink and drive.”
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” launched Friday and will be in effect in Brown County until Labor Day.