Annual ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign starts Friday

Police lights

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday safety campaign kicks off Friday and runs through New Year’s Day.

This year’s initiative comes at the end of a year when fatal crashes involving an impaired driver increased by 23%, according to WisDOT. Fatal crashes involving an impaired driver had declined for several years prior to 2020.

Impaired Drivnig Fatalities

A graph showing fatal crashes with a suspected impaired driver from 2017 through 2020

“Reports indicate that alcohol and drug use has increased nationwide during the pandemic,” WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said. “We need all drivers to make smart, responsible decisions and make this a safe holiday season.”

DOT officials said the department uses federal funds to support increased law enforcement patrols as part of the safe driving initiative. The DOT also uses funding to push education and outreach in an effort to deter impaired driving.

“This campaign is not about stopping or arresting motorists. It’s about saving lives and preventing needless tragedies,” Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent Anthony Burrell said. “Motorists can do their part by buckling up, driving sober and avoiding distractions.”

Transportation officials said anyone planning to celebrate for the holidays should make sure they have a sober designated driver. The free “Drive Sober” app from the WisDOT’s website includes a feature to locate local transportation alternatives for those in need of a ride.