LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—37 percent of all traffic deaths in Wisconsin last year were alcohol related and Wisconsin was third in the country for alcohol related boating deaths.
The Department of Natural Resources and law enforcement are working together this Labor Day weekend to help ensure everyone is safe on the road and in the water.
They're calling the campaign "Where the Rudder Meets the Road."
"When you're out on the water you have the sun beating down on you, you have the wind, the motion; those things enhance the affects of alcohol," Tyler Strelow, Conservation Warden Supervisor said.
DNR and Sheriff's Office will be out on the water looking for people operating under the influence.
"When we stop people for various reasons, whether its a registration check, no wake violation or something similar and we notice any sort of alcohol use by the driver we'll run them through field sobriety tests," Strelow said.
Just because you made it back to land doesn't mean you're good to go.
"Because they've been out for so long they lose track of how much they've had to drink," Major Sandra Huxtable, Wisconsin State Patrol said.
So far this year, in La Crosse, 259 people have been arrested for operating while intoxicated.
"There could be many factors in that. But our officers are out actively looking for detection of people operating while intoxicated," Sgt. Randy Rank, La Crosse Police Department said.
330 law enforcement officers have committed extra time on the Wisconsin roads.
"We make sure we maximize our forces because traffic is so much heavier but also because this is the drive sober or get pulled over campaign," Huxtable said.
Their goal isn't to arrest more drivers rather keep our roads safer and have zero preventable traffic deaths.
State Patrol released a smart phone application designed to prevent drunk driving.
The app can estimate your blood alcohol level, choose a designated driver or find a taxi.
Click here to download the Apple version.
Click here to download the Android version.
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