MILWAUKEE -- As the Labor Day holiday weekend got underway Friday, Aug. 30, the Milwaukee Police Department hosted a "Street Roll Call" to discourage impaired driving.
Following the roll call, 40 law enforcement agencies from Milwaukee and Waukesha counties deployed OWI Task Force officers into communities to detect, stop, and arrest drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or narcotics.
"You get impaired drivers making equipment stops, burnt out headlights, expired registration," said Lt. Eric Miller, Bayside Police Department. "Usually, you can smell it pretty good."
The mission of the task force is as follows: “We will stop, test, arrest, and lock up as many impaired drivers as necessary to prevent needless crashes, injuries and deaths on our roadways.”
"We're not looking for just alcohol," said Lt. Miller. "Illegal drugs and also prescription drugs also create impairment."
According to a press release, more than 800 traffic stops, nearly 400 citations, and 43 arrests for OWI had been made in less than four months leading up to Friday's roll call event.
Officials with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office in a news release encouraged people to drive safely and share the road responsibly with motorcyclists, noting that they were anticipating a high volume of traffic over the holiday weekend, including motorcycle traffic.
"We want everybody to have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend, and enjoy themselves, and make sure it's safe for everyone else," said Lt. Miller.
MCSO officials asked drivers to:
- Always check your blind spots.
- Be extra cautious when passing.
- Remember motorcycles react more quickly than cars.
- Pay attention to weather warnings.
- Be extra alert during night driving.
- Stay in your lane.
- Inform motorcyclists of your intention to turn (always signal).
- Intersections are danger zones.
- Watch for turning motorcycles.
- Take a second look at left-turns.
"There are no warnings on this," said Lt. Miller. "There are no rides home from us. There are no breaks. This is the warning right here."