The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office in Viroqua is joining hundreds of other law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin in cracking down on drunken driving during the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign which begins today and runs through Sept. 7.
Efforts to combat drunken driving in Wisconsin through effective enforcement and education are showing positive results. In the past 10 years, fatalities from alcohol-related crashes 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, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
“Although we’re making progress in preventing drunken driving, too many people are still being killed or injured because of the irresponsible decision to drive while impaired.” Vernon County Sheriff John Spears said in a press release. “Drunken driving is entirely preventable. You can designate a sober driver or find an alternative way home. The serious consequences of a drunken driving arrest include major embarrassment, expensive penalties, installation of an ignition interlock device, and possibly jail time. Driving drunk will be a decision you’ll regret the rest of your life, if you are lucky enough to live.” Officers will also be enforcing seatbelt violations during this campaign.
To help prevent drunken driving, the Zero In Wisconsin traffic safety initiative has a free “Drive Sober” mobile app, which includes updated features to help you get home safely. The Drive Sober app can be downloaded by visiting zeroinwisconsin.gov.