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Law enforcement targets Wisconsin drivers over holiday weekend


National holidays are times of great celebration. People in Wisconsin have the opportunity to get together with family and friends to celebrate historic events in our shared history and enjoy a day or two off from their busy lives at work. For many, holidays are also a time when people travel to be with loved ones and consume more alcohol than they normally do.

Law enforcement departments across the state will be using Labor Day weekend to target individuals who drink and drive. The state is calling the enforcement effort "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and last year over the holiday more than 900 drunk driving citations were given to Wisconsin drivers.

While the goal of the statewide effort is to prevent deaths from drunk driving-related automobile accidents, drivers should be prepared to face higher scrutiny by more officers over the holiday weekend. Noting that police will be looking for both people exhibiting drunk driving characteristics like lane weaving as well as minor issues like seatbelt infractions, anyone subject to a traffic stop may find himself asked to do sobriety testing.

When a law enforcement official has reason to believe that a driver is intoxicated, that officer may ask the driver to engage in roadside tests to determine if based on coordination and mental acuity the driver is drunk. Often if a driver fails a roadside test he will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test.

Though preventing deaths is a noble goal, Wisconsin drivers should be prepared to encounter a heightened number of law enforcement officials out on the roads over the holiday weekend and should plan to drive responsibly to avoid being stopped. Even good people can make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after one too many drinks, but those individuals should be prepared to face inquiry by the police if their actions are dangerous or erratic.

Source: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel, "Wisconsin drunk driving crackdown set for end of summer," Lydia Mulvany, August 15, 2013

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