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Cracking Down on 'Booze and Belts'

Posted at: 12/12/2012 4:53 PM
Updated at: 12/12/2012 6:28 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
manderson@wdio.com

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation hopes to make the holiday season safer for everyone on the roads with their 'Booze and Belts' campaign. The Wisconsin State Patrol, along with local law enforcement agencies across the state, are honing in on drunk drivers and seat belt violations during the 10-day campaign. 

Wisconsin State Patrol said the holiday season is the perfect time to remind drivers to buckle-up and drive sober.

"It has always been an issue in Wisconsin," said Wisconsin State Patrol trooper Don Magdzas . "However, this time of year it seems to hit home even more when tragedies occur."

According to WisDOT, alcohol-related crashes killed 225 people in Wisconsin last year and another 3,000 people were injured.

"Impaired driving is a major cause of traffic crashes and lack of safety belt usage is a major reason for injuries in traffic crashes. It seems they go hand in hand," said Magdzas.

The Wisconsin State Patrol Report from 2010-2011 revealed improving numbers for the past two years. In 2010, there were 40,628 safety belt violations and 5,539 drug or alcohol related traffic offenses. 2011 saw a decrease in both violations with a reported 27,062 safety belt violations and 4,210 drug or alcohol related traffic offenses.

This year, the Wisconsin State Patrol hopes to reduce those numbers even more, and to remind drivers to plan ahead.

"Plan ahead. If you know you're going to be at a party, make other arrangements," said Magdzas.

The official 'Booze and Belts' campaign started Dec. 7th and will run through Dec. 16th.