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Wisconsin police will be increasing DUI and seatbelt enforcement

Waukesha drivers beware: police all across Wisconsin will soon be out in full force. Throughout the year, we post about increased DUI enforcement efforts that usually coincide with major holidays and events, especially the ones celebrated with alcohol.

November and December are particularly busy times for Wisconsin police, who traditionally increase DUI patrols around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve. The most recent campaign begins tomorrow.

Between Dec. 9 and 17, police departments around the state will participate in the "Booze and Belts" campaign, sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. During this time, police will be cracking down on both drunk drivers and drivers who are not wearing seatbelts.

Booze and Belts could be considered a combination of two previous campaigns: "Click It or Ticket," which took place in the spring, and "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," which happened in the fall.

The DOT cited statistics showing that alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin killed 220 people and injured an additional 3,500 last year. They stress that the campaign is aimed at preventing injuries and saving lives and is not intended to merely increase arrests and fines.

But increased enforcement does usually bring an increase in fines, arrests and convictions. Last year, the Wisconsin legal system saw 120,000 convictions for seat belt violations and another 40,000 convictions related to drunk driving.

Now that the winter snow is here, it is especially important to practice safe driving habits. And with more police patrolling Wisconsin's roads during the Booze and Belts campaign, drivers need to make sure they have a plan to get where they are going, safely and legally.

Source: WiscNews.com, "Police remind drivers to buckle up and don't drink when driving or get ticket," Hayden Marx, Dec. 2, 2011

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