Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2009 --- 1:25 p.m.
From State Department of Transportation:
Even the luck of the Irish won't protect you if you drive while impaired on St. Patrick's Day, law enforcement and traffic safety experts warn.
Many law enforcement agencies throughout the state will increase their patrols on St. Patrick's Day looking for drunken drivers as part of the ongoing Zero In Wisconsin campaign to prevent traffic fatalities.
"Our ultimate goal is to reduce the number of preventable traffic deaths to zero in Wisconsin, so law enforcement officers are trying to get drunken drivers off the road before they kill or injure themselves or innocent victims." says says Dennis Hughes, chief of safety programs for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Safety.
Someone is killed or injured in an alcohol-related crash every 90 minutes in Wisconsin.
There are more than 40,000 drunken driving convictions in Wisconsin each year, and for nearly three out of four of these drunken drivers it was their first conviction.
Instead of risking an arrest for impaired driving on St. Patrick's Day or even worse-killing or injuring yourself or someone else-WisDOT offers the following suggestions:
* Before you start partying, choose a sober designated driver.
* If you're feeling buzzed, you probably are over the 0.08 (alcohol concentration) limit and should not drive.
* Take mass transit, a taxicab or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
* Some taverns and restaurants have programs to provide patrons with a safe ride home. (Visit www.tlw.org
* In the Milwaukee area, MillerCoors Company, Milwaukee County Transit System and Milwaukee Irish Fest are again teaming up to provide free bus service on St. Patrick's Day starting at 6 p.m. Visit http://millerfreerides.com for more information or call 1-800-FREE-RIDES (1-800-373-3743) for route and schedule information.