'Drive Sober or . . .' in Athens

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The Athens Police Department to crackdown on druken motorists during 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' national campaign

The Athens Police Department will be out in force along with other law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin and the rest of the nation for the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunken drivers from Aug. 19 to Sept. 5.

Drunken driving continues to be one of the most destructive and deadly crimes in Wisconsin. Last year, 220 people were killed and more than 3,500 injured in nearly 5,800 alcohol-related traffic crashes. 

“There were more than 40,000 convictions for drunken driving in Wisconsin last year, so law enforcement agencies are certainly finding and arresting impaired motorists. But too many people still make the irresponsible and dangerous decision to get behind the wheel while impaired,” says Chief Aaron Stencil. “Every officer in our agency has zero tolerance for drunken drivers. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are going or what time of day—if you’re driving while impaired you will be arrested and will face devastating consequences, such as major embarrassment, stiff penalties, and possibly jail time. Driving drunk will be a decision you’ll regret the rest of your life, if you are lucky enough to live.”

Under a state law enacted last year, first-offense operating while intoxicated (OWI) drivers who were convicted with a blood/breath alcohol level of .15 or higher and all repeat drunken drivers are required to have an ignition interlock device on every vehicle they own, have registered in their name, or drive. Ignition interlock devices ensure drivers are sober before they can start their vehicle. The law also makes first offense OWI a criminal offense if there is a passenger under age 16 in the vehicle.

Chief Aaron Stencil said, “Drunken driving is entirely preventable. During the upcoming Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown and throughout the year, our goal is not to arrest more drunken drivers. We simply are trying to save lives and prevent injuries. If we can deter people from getting behind the wheel when they’re not sober, we will make progress toward the goal of reducing the number of preventable traffic deaths to Zero In Wisconsin.”

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