?Booze and Belts? patrols to start
Waupaca County sheriff deputies will mobilize Friday, Dec. 12, to increase safety belt use and reduce drunken driving.
The program will run eight days throughout most of Wisconsin.
“Deaths and injuries in traffic crashes are especially tragic for families this time of year, so our officers will be out in force during the ‘Boots and Belts’ mobilization looking for unbuckled and impaired motorists,” according to Capt. Todd Rasmussen with the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office.
Rasmussen said high-visibility law enforcement mobilizations help save lives and reduce injuries.
In the past 10 years, fatalities from alcohol-related crashes 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, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Seat belt use in Wisconsin is also at an all-time high at nearly 85 percent of all drivers.
“We’re making progress toward the goal of zero preventable traffic deaths in Wisconsin, but far to many people are still needlessly killed or injured in traffic crashes,” Rasmussen said. “We are striving for voluntary compliance with traffic laws, so we urge you to make the responsible decision and buckle up and drive sober. But if you make an irresponsible decision, we will stop you and we won’t give you a second chance.”