MILWAUKEE -- Ringing in the new year is a tradition, one that usually involves alcoholic beverages. However, the revelry can turn into heartbreak and death because of drunk drivers.
Saturday night, Brady Street will be packed with people ringing in the new year. While there's no harm in having a few drinks to celebrate, bar owners, city officials and law enforcement are urging everyone to have a plan in place for how to get home safely.
After toasting to 2017, Wisconsin State Patrol is reminding those out drinking on New Year's Eve to make sure January 1st starts off right.
"A split second decision could change the lives of many different people if you make a poor choice" said Sergeant Scott Guion, Wisconsin State Patrol.
The holiday is among the drunkest nights of the year, that's why troopers are teaming up with local municipalities and counties Saturday night, as part of the OWI Task Force.
"All available people will be working. We also do have increased overtime funding for additional officers to be patrolling. Obviously they'll be looking for intoxicated drivers," said Sergeant Scott Guion.
From staying sober to taking an Uber, Sergeant Scott Guion with the Wisconsin State Patrol, encourages party-goers to have a plan in place before going out.
The Milwaukee County Transit System is offering its 29th annual Miller Lite free rides on New Year's Eve.
"Beginning at 8:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve, all the way until 4:00 a.m., get on a bus, any Milwaukee County Transit bus and it's free. The idea is to get people home safely," said Brendan Conway, Milwaukee County Transit System.
Another option, Tavern League members liked Hosed on Brady, will provide vouchers to patrons who've had too much to drink.
"You can come in, have a really good time and we'll pay the first $25 of your cab ride home," said Hosed on Brady Owner, Donna Olson.
If you think you see an impaired driver, State Patrol says don't hesitate to call 911.
The Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation is also helping motorists this weekend. On Thursday night, they started utilizing what are often referred to as "overhead electronic signs" to alert motorists that a wrong-way driver could be in the same area.
"That's essentially a heads up that `hey there has been a report of a wrong way driver in this area so please be cautious as you`re driving and you may come across this," said Brian DeNeve, WisDOT spokesperson.
This strategy follows WisDOT's recent increase in the number of wrong-way detection devices -- from 12 to 20 -- at locations throughout Milwaukee County.