DOT: To avoid a drunken driving arrest or crash, designate before you celebrate on New Year’s Eve
MILWAUKEE — Although no one really knows what the new year will bring, everyone who will be out celebrating on Thursday night can take steps to make sure 2016 doesn’t start with a drunken driving arrest or crash.
To combat drunken driving, law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force for the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which runs until Sunday, January 3.
“Enforcement and educational efforts to prevent drunken driving, like the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, have helped reduce deaths from alcohol-related crashes by approximately 51 percent and injuries by 55 percent over the last 10 years in Wisconsin,” says David Pabst, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) Bureau of Transportation Safety.
As a reminder of the dangers of drunken driving, electronic message signs on major highways will display “A New Year’s resolution—Drive Sober” on December 31 and January 1.
To help prevent drunken driving, WisDOT offers a free Zero In Wisconsin Drive Sober mobile app, which includes:
- A Find-a-Ride feature that uses a smart phone’s GPS to locate alternative transportation—including taxi services, mass transit, and local ride services.
- A blood alcohol estimator.
- A designated driver selector.
- Interactive games that help determine whether drivers should give up their car keys.
Since its launch two years ago, more than 66,000 people have downloaded the Zero In Wisconsin Drive Sober app. Free downloads of the app are available at: www.zeroinwisconsin.gov/resources/.
In addition to choosing a designated driver before your New Year’s Eve celebration begins, WisDOT’s Division of State Patrol offers the following advice:
- If you’re feeling buzzed, you probably are over the 0.08 (alcohol concentration) limit and should not drive.
- Don’t allow friends to drive drunk no matter how much they protest.
- Some taverns and restaurants may provide patrons with safe transportation to their homes, such as the Tavern League of Wisconsin’s SafeRide program (http://www.tlw.org/SafeRide).
- Milwaukee County Transit System (http://www.ridemcts.com/), Madison Metro (http://www.cityofmadison.com/metro/freerides/) and Green Bay Metro (http://www.greenbaymetro.org/en-us/default.aspx) are partnering with Miller Lite to provide free bus rides on New Year’s Eve.