Dog Days of Summer ~ Officers Bringing the Heat – 6 OWI Arrests in 1 Night!
July 27th, 2012 (updated August 1, 2012)
Out of 41 stops by local law enforcement, 19 citations were written, including 6 OWIs in 4 hours!
This past weekend (July 28th), law enforcement partnered to conduct “high visibility enforcement” or HVE in the Wausau Metro Area. Wausau, Everest Metro, and Rothschild Police Departments, along with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Dept and Wisconsin State Patrol, were on the lookout for impaired drivers along Grand and Schofield Avenues.
It’s a thin yellow line that separates us from an impaired driver. Last year in the State of Wisconsin, law enforcement officers arrested 44,000 drunk drivers. Studies estimate that for every drunk driver arrested, between 100 and 2000 drunk drivers are not apprehended. Alcohol was a factor in nearly 50% of fatal crashes. Contrary to popular perception, most drunk drivers who cause a fatal crash do not have a prior OWI offense. The goal of this increase in OWI patrols using high visibility enforcement is to make a significant reduction in impaired driving in our community.
According to the Center for Disease Control, sobriety checkpoints are one of the most effective evidence-based strategies to reduce drunk driving; however, Wisconsin law currently prohibits their use. High visibility patrols aim to stop as many vehicles as possible during the enforcement period. By stopping vehicles even for minor infractions such as defective headlights, minor speeding violations, and the like, law enforcement is increasing the probability of finding an impaired driver on our roadways. In addition, the high visibility enforcement patrols provide a deterrent effect for potential drunk drivers, leading them to think twice about getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking.
For more information, check out the CDC Vital Signs on Drinking and Driving.