We often write about the increased enforcement campaigns that occur around various holidays throughout the year. Wisconsin law enforcement ramped up anti-drunk-driving enforcement just a couple weeks ago to coincide with the Thanksgiving weekend.
Later this month, Waukesha drivers are likely to see an increased law enforcement presence on our roads and highways around the Christmas and New Year's Eve holidays. Extra DUI and OWI patrols during these times are expected. But what many Wisconsin drivers might not know is that law enforcement agencies throughout the state are kicking off a week-long increased enforcement campaign starting today.
The campaign is called "Booze and Belts," and the name pretty much says it all. Between today and December 16th, law enforcement officers will be out in full force looking to catch impaired drivers and drivers who are not wearing a seatbelt.
Booze and Belts is part of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's larger goal of "reducing the number of preventable traffic deaths to zero in Wisconsin," according to a recent news article.
Drunk driving and failure to wear seatbelts have both been identified as behaviors likely to lead to fatalities. Last December alone, 51 people were killed and 3,500 more suffered injuries in over 11,000 car crashes throughout Wisconsin.
While seatbelt use won't prevent crashes, seatbelts will often make crashes less injurious or fatal. One Wisconsin police chief explained that, "Too many drivers and passengers are seriously injured or killed while being ejected from their vehicles or tossed around violently inside them during a crash."
Even though there are no holidays coming up within the next week, Wisconsin drivers need to be alert to the fact that law enforcement officers will be out in greater numbers. As always, the best advice to keep yourself safe is to buckle up and plan for alternative, sober transportation if you will be drinking at upcoming holiday parties.
Muskego Patch, "Booze and Belts: Sober Up, Buckle Up," Denise Konkol, Dec. 6, 2012
FDLreporter.com, "NFDL Police to join Booze and Belts traffic safety mobilization," Nov. 29, 2012