‘Our goal is to keep our roads safe’: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign now underway

Beltline highway traffic roads driving
Traffic flows on the Beltline near Fish Hatchery Road on July 11, 2022. WISC-TV/Channel3000.

MADISON, Wis. — Law enforcement agencies around the state will have increased patrols along Wisconsin’s roads and highways to enforce the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over traffic safety campaign, which started Wednesday.

The campaign, which runs through Labor Day, aims to get impaired drivers off the road during the final stretch of the summer travel season.

“Our goal is to keep our roads safe from the dangers of impaired driving. Deaths and injuries due to impaired driving are preventable,” Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett said. “We want to make sure all travelers reach their destinations safely.”

Someone is killed in an impaired driving crash roughly every two hours in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin State Patrol. In 2021, alcohol-related crashes killed 166 people and drug-related crashes killed 74 people. In total, there were 6,368 alcohol-related crashes and 2,094 drug-related crashes around the state last year.

It’s a problem State Patrol Superintendent Tim Carnahan said goes beyond traffic safety.

“Impaired driving is a significant public health risk, it’s a public safety risk, and it’s a risk to the whole transportation system,” Carnahan said.

Authorities said there are plenty of ways to plan ahead for safe travel, too. From picking a designated driver to calling 911 when you suspect an impaired driver is on the road, each individual driver can help minimize the issue.

“Drunk driving is never acceptable, especially when there are so many safe alternatives to get home,” Barrett said. “We need commitment from our community members that they’ll keep the streets free of impaired drivers so that everyone can have a safe summer and Labor Day holiday.”

Some restaurants and bars offer free rides home for customers who need one. A list of participating locations is available online. WisDOT’s Drive Sober app also includes a “find a ride” feature to help locate transit and taxi services. The app is available online.