August 20, 2020 – Several Rock County law enforcement agencies are joining law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin during the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign from Friday, August 21 through Labor Day (September 7, 2020). The City of Beloit Police Department, the City of Janesville Police Department, the Town of Beloit Police Department, and the Rock County Sheriff’s Office are participating in this high-visibility enforcement to dissuade motorists from driving while impaired.
“About every three hours in Wisconsin, someone is injured or killed in an alcohol-related crash,” City of Beloit Police Sgt. Eric Rohrer said. “This is not about stopping or arresting motorists. This is about saving lives and preventing needless tragedies by encouraging drivers to be safe and responsible.”
Last year in Wisconsin, there were 6,058 alcohol-related crashes that injured 2,918 people and resulted in 140 deaths (about one-quarter of all traffic fatalities). While alcohol-impaired drivers remain a concern, a growing problem involves drug-impaired drivers – people whose ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by legal or illegal drugs including prescription and over-the-counter medications.
To help combat impaired driving, Wisconsin has:
– 5,223 police officers trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) to help detect and remove impaired drivers from the roadways;
– 310 highly-trained Drug Recognition Experts – among the most in the nation;
– 23 multi-jurisdictional high-visibility enforcement task forces operating throughout the year, across the state.
Community members can help in several ways:
– If you plan to celebrate, identify a sober designated driver or find a safe alternative way home. Never allow someone to get behind the wheel impaired.
– Protect yourself and your passengers every time you travel. Ensure everyone is buckled up. Watch your speed and eliminate distractions.
– If you suspect a driver is impaired, call 911. Provide as much detail as possible on the driver, vehicle and location.
– Download the free “Drive Sober” mobile app from the WisDOT website. The app includes a “find a ride” feature to help locate mass transit and taxi services;
– Some taverns and restaurants have programs to provide patrons a safe ride home.
“Drivers impaired by alcohol or other drugs risk the safety of everyone along our roadways,” Rohrer said. “During the Drive Sober campaign and throughout the year, our goal is to help ensure all travelers reach their destinations safely.”