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Statewide crackdown on drunken driving begins Friday

August 11, 2014

'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign runs from August 15 to September 1

Nearly 400 law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force to combat drunken driving during the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign from Friday, August 15, through Labor Day, September 1.

"Enforcement and educational efforts to combat drunken driving, like the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign, are helping to reduce deaths and injuries," says David Pabst, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Bureau of Transportation Safety.

In the past 10 years, fatalities from alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin dropped from 348 in 2003 to 185 in 2013, which is a 47 percent reduction. Injuries from alcohol-related crashes dropped from 6,445 in 2003 to 2,660 in 2013, which is a 59 percent reduction. The overall number of alcohol-related crashes dropped from 9,007 in 2003 to 4,954 in 2013, which is a 45 percent reduction, according to Pabst (see chart below).

This year’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will be backed by statewide TV and radio messages produced by WisDOT with federal funding that feature members of the Mad Rollin Dolls’ roller derby league. Their message is that it would be crazy to skate in a roller derby bout while intoxicated but even crazier to drive drunk. Their messages about the dangers of drunken driving are available online at the Zero in Wisconsin webpage.

WisDOT has also updated and added new features to its free "Zero In Wisconsin Drive Sober" mobile app. This app includes a find-a-ride feature that uses a smart phone’s GPS system to locate alternative transportation, a blood alcohol estimator, designated driver selector, and interactive games to help determine whether someone should give up their car keys. Since its launch in March 2013, more than 50,000 people have downloaded the app. The app can be downloaded for free by visiting Zero in Wisconsin.

"Although we’re making significant progress in reducing drunken driving, too many people are still getting behind the wheel when they’re impaired," says Pabst. "Drunken driving crashes needlessly kill and injure innocent victims nearly every day. Unfortunately, law enforcement officers cannot find and arrest every drunken driver. During the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign and throughout the year, we need all motorists to take personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of others. In addition, everyone must be courageous enough to stop a friend or loved one who’s impaired from driving. Motorists also can report drunken drivers by calling 911. We all must to do our part to prevent drunken driving."

Alcohol-related traffic crashes in Wisconsin: 10-year history     
Source: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles

 
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2013 percent change
from 2012
2013 percent change
from
2003
Crashes
9,007
8,931
8,768
8,393
8,327
7,235
6,429
5,751
5,297
5,024
4,954
-1.4%
-45%
Fatalities
348
326
330
305
337
234
238
220
225
223
185
-17.0%
-47%
Injuries
6,445
6,221
5,992
5,654
5,552
4,319
3,793
3,511
2,984
2,907
2,660
-8.5%
-59%
Incapacitating injuries
1,256
1,131
1,181
1,105
1,101
818
705
640
523
508
488
-3.9%
-62%

For more information, contact:
David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety
(608) 266-3048, david.pabst@dot.wi.gov

 

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