LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – A half patrol car, half taxicab is driving through Wisconsin.
The unusual appearance is to remind motorists that they have a choice when it comes to drinking and driving.
It's part of the Wisconsin State Patrol Bureau of Transportation Safety "Choose Your Ride" initiative.
"The most wrong choice that you can make is to drive when you've had a couple to drink," said Bob Bott, regional program manager with the Bureau of Transportation Safety.
If you get pulled over and you're driving above the legal limit, fees and court fines can cost you upwards of $1,000, Bott said. Taking a taxi after a few drinks can cost less than $20.
"Choose Your Ride" is a part of the Booze and Belts Mobilization. The goal is to prevent drunk driving deaths and arrests.
"I think it's a big eye opener for most vehicles. I know even when I'm on the interstate or I'm parked in a parking lot, I get a lot of looks," Bott said of the car.
Scott Tanke, president of Freisinger Insurance said if a person gets pulled over and are cited for drunk driving, his/her insurance rates will at least double.
That number goes up if he/she gets any other tickets, too. For example, damage to property or injuring another person. Some companies even decide not to insure a person anymore, according to Tanke.
"It can affect their home insurance as well. There are a lot of insurance companies that don't want to write the home by itself," Tanke said. "They want the home and the auto together."
But Bott said all tickets and fines are avoidable as long as people who've been drinking choose a safe ride home.
The Booze and Belts Mobilization is part of the effort to attain "zero preventable traffic deaths" in Wisconsin.
Last year alcohol-related crashes killed 223 people in Wisconsin and injured nearly 3,000 people, according to Department of Transportation data.
One in five motorists does not buckle up, reported the WisDOT.
"The Booze and Belts campaign, it's all about traffic safety. It's about you and your loved ones making sure that they're not involved in an alcohol related crash and that we all get home safely," said Sgt. Randy Rank of the La Crosse Police Department.
The Booze and Belts campaign will run through Dec. 21.
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