New Year’s Eve one of the worst nights for drunk driving in Wisconsin

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MILWAUKEE -- Along with St. Patrick's Day and the night before Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve is one of the worst nights for drunk drivers on the road. To curb OWIs and prevent crashes, law enforcement officials were set to ramp up patrols on New Year's Eve. Officials are also encouraging folks to seek out safe rides home.

Officials say those who choose to ring in the New Year with celebration should be sure they have a plan for getting home safely.

"(New Year's Eve) is the big drinking night for Wisconsin. You may think you have a higher tolerance than somebody else, but a .08 is a .08 no matter who you are," Brendan Braun with the Wisconsin State Patrol said.

The OWI Task Force will be enforcing roadways in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties with extra patrols -- looking for things like speeding and drunk and wrong-way drivers.

"We're going to have at least 10 extra troopers out patrolling for OWI enforcement," Braun said.

To provide a safe ride home, MillerCoors is once again teaming up with the Milwaukee County Transit System to provide Miller Lite Free Rides on New Year's Eve. More than 30 free routes will start at 8:00 p.m. in Milwaukee County and 7:00 p.m. in Waukesha.

"It's so easy to do. You just get on the bus and it's free. We've extended the time until 4:00 a.m., so if your plans go late, there'll be 13 routes that'll go that way until 4:00 a.m.," Jacqueline Janz with MCTS said.

This service has been offered for 25 straight years and is one of many options available to help make the New Year's celebration a safe one.

"Try to use a designated driver. Use the free bus system that Milwaukee County is offering. Taxi service. A phone call is a lot cheaper than an OWI citation or a jail sentence," Braun said.

For more information on MillerCoors Free Rides, call 1-800-FREE-RIDES, or CLICK HERE.