Drive Sober enforcement prevents deadly consequences of impaired driving

​Wisconsin State Patrol joins national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday campaign 

Release date: December 15, 2022

The holiday season is a time for celebration, but law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin are urging drivers to spread good cheer responsibly.

Wisconsin State Patrol is once again joining the annual holiday Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign to eliminate the risks of impaired drivers on the roads. Officers will boost patrols from December 16 through New Year’s Day.

During the last holiday season, there were nearly 400 crashes involving impaired drivers in Wisconsin. Those incidents killed seven people and injured almost 200 others.

“There are hundreds of families mourning those lost in preventable tragedies this holiday season. Put safety first every trip behind the wheel so you can make sure you make it home to your loved ones,” Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent Tim Carnahan said. 

Alcohol and drugs can have a significant impact on a driver’s focus and ability to maintain control behind the wheel. Even a small amount can impact a driver’s coordination and concentration. Impaired drivers cannot accurately assess their own impairment.

The Drive Sober campaign is not simply about stopping or arresting drivers. It is centered around saving lives. Someone is killed or injured in impaired driving crash every two hours in Wisconsin. Tough enforcement of drunk driving laws has been a major factor in reducing drunk driving deaths since 1980s, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

There are 25 multi-jurisdictional OWI task forces operating around the state and throughout the year to stop impaired driving. Plus, more than 6,000 officers are trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement. Wisconsin also has 365 Drug Recognition Experts, among the most in the nation. The special trainings help agencies detect impaired drivers, get them off the roads, and secure convictions. 

Making responsible choices

  • If you plan to celebrate, identify a sober designated driver. If you’re feeling impaired, you likely are over the 0.08 BAC limit and should not drive. 
  • Rather than risk an arrest: take mass transit, call a taxi, use a rideshare service, or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
  • If you have a friend who is about to drink and drive, step in. Take the keys away and help them get home safely.
  • Some bars and restaurants have programs to provide customers with a safe ride home
  • If you suspect a driver is impaired, safely gather as much info as you can about the vehicle, driver, and location. Then call 911.

Visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Zero in Wisconsin website​ for more information, videos, and resources on impaired driving. 

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581,