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DOT Credits Education, Enforcement For Drop In Wisconsin Drunk Driving Deaths

OWI-Related Fatalities Have Dropped By Half Over 10 Years

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The number of drunk driving-related deaths in Wisconsin has been cut in half over the last decade, something the Department of Transportation credits to education and enforcement.

In 2004, 326 people died either because they were drinking, riding with someone who was drunk, or were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fast forward to 2014 and that number was down to 162.

But DOT chief of safety Randy Romanski said that number is still too high.

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He said OWI task forces have helped. That’s when local police, sheriffs, and the State Patrol coordinate to look for impaired drivers.

“They tell people the nights they’re going to be out and sometimes where they’re going to be out. Because the goal is to prevent people from drinking and driving in the first place,” he said.

Romanski said the “buzzed driving is drunk driving” campaign and the Tavern League’s Safe Ride program also help get the message out.

He said injuries from drunk driving are also down.