Drive Sober campaign

The 2020 ‘Drive Sober’ campaign will run from Aug. 21 to Sep. 7.

For most drivers and passengers in vehicles, getting from point A to point B in Wisconsin is a safe experience, but for around 140 people last year, road trips turn fatal as a result of drunk drivers.

That number comes from a news release put out by the Oregon Police Department, announcing the annual “Drive Sober Get Pulled Over” campaign, which runs Friday, Aug. 21 through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7.

Oregon police officers will be joining law enforcement agencies across the state in the campaign, with a goal of getting drunk or drugged drivers off the roads before they injure or kill themselves or other civilians.

“About every three hours in Wisconsin, someone is injured or killed in an alcohol-related crash,” Police Chief Jennifer Pagenkopf wrote in the release. “This is not about stopping or arresting motorists. This is about saving lies and preventing needless tragedies by encouraging drivers to be safe and responsible.”

Last year in Wisconsin, there were 6,058 alcohol-related crashes that injured 2,918 people and resulted in 140 fatalities – one quarter of all traffic fatalities in Wisconsin last year – the release states.

The release states that law enforcement officers have also seen an increase in drugged driving, or operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance. Drugged driving can also include impairment from the use of legal prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Drunk or drugged driving convictions can lead to fines, loss of drivers’ licenses and jail time.

“Drivers impaired by alcohol or other drugs risk the safety of everyone along our roadways,” Chief Pagenkopf wrote. “During the Drive Sober campaign and throughout the year, our goal is to help ensure all travelers reach their destination safely.”

Neal Patten can be contacted at neal.patten@wcinet.com.