Sheriff’s deputies team up to nab drunken drivers

Grant funds task force through 2015
Sheriff’s deputies team up to nab drunken drivers

Four counties are teaming up to form a task force targeting drunken drivers.

Sheriff’s deputies from Dane, Jefferson, Rock and Sauk counties will be part of STOP or Sheriff’s Traffic and OWI Patrol.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation gave a $40,000 grant to fund overtime for deputies. Those deputies will go out on extra patrols focused only on traffic enforcement and catching potential inebriated drivers.

“Through the holiday season, deputies in all four counties will be patrolling the highways and our counties to stop drivers that are speeding, driving aggressively and choose to drink and drive,” said Sgt. Jeff Heil, traffic safety coordinator with the Dane County Sheriff’s Department. “In Wisconsin during 2013, more than 35 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities were alcohol related, resulting in 185 deaths.”

The task force will be made up of between two to four deputies from each county. They will be out on the same night, looking for violators. Heil said the goal is to have the deputies on patrol one to two times per month, until September 2015. The extra patrols will start Saturday.

“We’re all looking forward to a Badger victory on Saturday, but Saturday night, our task force will be out working,” Heil said.

Authorities recommend choosing a designated driver at the beginning of the night. If you feel buzzed, authorities say you are likely over the .08 limit and should not drive.

Some taverns have programs to drive patrons home safely. You can find out more details here.