By now, it should be clear to every employed Wisconsin resident that Labor Day Weekend is upon us. For most of us, the holiday means a three-day weekend and a chance to get outside and celebrate summer one last time before we settle into our fall and winter routines.
But like other holiday weekends, Labor Day is associated with significant driving risks, including a greater likelihood of car accidents and increased anti-drunk-driving enforcement. In keeping with tradition, Wisconsin law enforcement will be out in greater numbers this weekend making more DUI stops and arrests.
Wisconsin is already in the midst of an increased enforcement period that began earlier this month. The national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign started on August 17 and will continue through September 3. Because Labor Day Weekend is so commonly associated with drunk driving, it is a sure bet that the majority of police resources and efforts will be utilized this weekend.
Whether or not you are drinking this weekend, driving may be dangerous. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 3,000 people were injured and another 225 were killed in alcohol-related car accidents in 2011. Alcohol-related crashes account for approximately 40 percent of car accident fatalities in Wisconsin each year.
While these numbers do not specifically address Labor Day Weekend, the danger is nonetheless clear. If you are going to celebrate with alcohol this weekend, please arrange for alternative transportation ahead of time so that you don't need to drive. Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend!
Wisconsin Radio Network, "Increased enforcement on drunken drivers," Jackie Johnson, Aug. 26, 2012
WJFW.com, "Marathon County Law Enforcement Crackdown on OWI Offenders," Jenn Sullivan, Aug. 17, 2012