Whether driving or boating, stay safe by operating sober
July 2, 2012
With the Fourth of July right around the corner, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources are teaming up to spread the word about how to stay safe this summer by avoiding drunk driving and boating.
"If your summer plans include having fun on any of Wisconsin’s waterways, you most likely need to travel on our highways to get there and back," said State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "For that reason we are partnering with the DNR to encourage safe and sober operations, regardless of whether you are navigating a boat or operating a motor vehicle. Don’t spoil your summer fun by operating your vehicle or vessel impaired."
While Wisconsin has decreased its alcohol-related crashes the past few years, they still continue to be a threat. This is especially true around holiday time, when traffic increases on roads and waterways, and people ignore their better judgment in the excitement.
In 2011, there was an estimated 5,300 alcohol-related crashes on Wisconsin roads, one every 2.4 hours (WisDOT). The same could be said for alcohol-related boat crashes with 53% of the boating fatalities involving alcohol — 106 of total boating crashes involved alcohol.
Most of these crashes could have been prevented had the people involved followed the law, and not operated a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated, officials said.
"Whether on the waterways or highways, select a designated driver so you have a safe and enjoyable holiday experience," said DNR Conservation Warden Todd Schaller, who also heads the Recreation Enforcement and Education section.
Alcohol-related fatalities for DOT in 2011:
Alcohol-related Injuries for DOT in 2011: about 3,000
Alcohol-related fatalities for DNR in 2011: 23
Alcohol-related Injuries for DNR in 2011: 80
For more information, contact:
Major Sandra Huxtable, Director, WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety
(608) 266-3048, firstname.lastname@example.org