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LTE – Mark Gottlieb – 8-13-2014

Dear Editor:

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has some good news and some bad news to report about drunken driving in our state.

The good news is we’re making long-term progress in preventing drunken driving crashes, fatalities and injuries.

In the past 10 years, fatalities from alcohol-related crashes in Wisconsin dropped from 348 in 2003 to 185 in 2013, which is a 47 percent reduction. Injuries from alcohol-related crashes dropped from 6,445 in 2003 to 2,660 in 2013, which is a 59 percent reduction. The overall number of alcohol-related crashes dropped from 9,007 in 2003 to 4,945 in 2013, which is a 45 percent reduction

The bad news is that even though drunken driving is completely preventable, too many people still get behind the wheel when they’re impaired. Innocent victims are killed or injured nearly every day because of a drunken driver.

To stop this senseless tragedy on our roadways, law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be out in force from Aug. 15 through Labor Day for the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunken driving.

Despite their best efforts, law enforcement officers cannot find and arrest every drunken driver. To reduce drunken driving crashes, we all must make a commitment to never drive while impaired and to stop loved ones and friends from driving when they’re not sober. With everyone’s commitment, we can continue to make progress toward the goal of reducing the number of preventable traffic deaths to “Zero in Wisconsin.”

Mark Gottlieb, 
Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation