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Letter to the editor / Commentary from the Secretary

August 13, 2013

Dear Editor:

Nearly every day, the media reports a death or serious injury from a drunken driving crash. Sometimes, a well known figure or celebrity is arrested for driving while intoxicated. Although the media notoriety quickly fades, the devastation caused by drunken driving continues far into the future.

To stop these senseless tragedies on our roadways, law enforcement agencies throughout the state are persistent in their efforts to combat drunken driving. Again this year, hundreds of law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will be out in force from August 16 through Labor Day, September 2, for the annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" crackdown on drunken driving.

High-visibility law enforcement crackdowns on drunken driving are part of — but not the entire — solution to this prevalent and persistent problem. Last year, there were approximately 27,000 convictions for drunken driving in Wisconsin. But law enforcement officers will never be able to arrest every drunken driver. They need our help. Here are a few simple ways we can do our part:

  • The Wisconsin Department of Transportation offers a "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 and designated driver selector to help you get home safely. The Drive Sober app can be downloaded by visiting the Zero in Wisconsin web.
  • Don’t let friends drive drunk.
  • Report impaired drivers to law enforcement by calling 911.

With everyone’s commitment, we can deter drunken driving and make progress toward the goal of reducing the number of preventable traffic deaths to "Zero in Wisconsin."

Mark Gottlieb
Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation

 

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