As families and friends get together for the holidays, Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials ask everyone to celebrate the season safely.

The Division of State Patrol and law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin will be stepping up enforcement for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

The national effort runs from Wednesday, Dec. 15, through New Year’s Day. The goal is to prevent tragedies during the holidays by boosting patrols to get impaired drivers off the road.

“The holidays are a time for celebration with loved ones, but we ask that you celebrate responsibly,” State Patrol Superintendent Anthony Burrell said. “We need every driver to think of their family and friends when getting behind the wheel. Always make responsible decisions. Never drink and drive.”

Someone is injured or killed in an alcohol-related crash about every three hours in Wisconsin. 167 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2020, which made up more than one-quarter of all traffic fatalities in the state.

Drugged driving is also a significant concern. Last year, 80 people died in drug-involved crashes, up from 59 deaths in 2019.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign aims to eliminate that risk on the roads, but it’s not just about stopping, citing or arresting drivers. The campaign is focused on saving lives.

Wisconsin officers use special training to combat impaired driving year-round. The state has among the most trained Drug Recognition Experts in the nation. Plus, there are 25 multijurisdictional OWI task forces operating across Wisconsin.

Law enforcement officers need help from everyone to keep impaired drivers off the roads.

• If you plan to celebrate, identify a sober designated driver, or find a safe alternative way home. Never allow someone who is impaired to get behind the wheel.

• If you suspect a driver is impaired call 911. Provide as much detail as possible on the driver, vehicle and location.

• Download the free Drive Sober mobile app from the WisDOT website. The app includes a find a ride feature to help locate mass transit and taxi or rideshare services.

• Some bars and restaurants have programs to provide patrons a safe ride home.

• Protect yourself and your passengers every time you travel. Watch your speed and eliminate distractions. Buckle up and put your phone down. Every trip, every time.

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