Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Targeted Alcohol Patrols Pulled 49 Drunk Drivers Off Roads in 2009

January 25, 2010
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606 Elise Schaffer, Dane County Sheriff’s Office (608) 284-6142
County Executive

Deputies Stopped, Checked Over 1200 Drivers During Special County Overtime Enforcement, Fewer Fatal Crashes Involving Alcohol Reported in “09

Dane County sheriff’s deputies working county-funded weekend overtime hours to target drunk drivers, stopped over 1200 vehicles and pulled 49 drunk drivers off the roads in 2009.  In addition, there were fewer fatal crashes in Dane County last year in which alcohol was a factor.

The alcohol enforcement overtime funding was included in the 2009 county budget by County Executive Kathleen Falk as part of her comprehensive initiative to reduce the harms of alcohol overconsumption in our communities.

“These special patrols helped get dozens of drunk drivers off our roads and prevent more  unnecessary pain and tragedy that too many families in our county and state experience each year,” Falk said. 

Sheriff Dave Mahoney noted alcohol was a factor in 11 of the 33 fatal traffic crashes in the county last year.  That compares with 17 alcohol related traffic deaths in 2008.

“Traffic safety has always been, and will continue to be a priority for the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.  The overtime hours that allow additional deputies to patrol Dane County are crucial in keeping our roads safe.  We want to get the message across through enforcement and education, that if you drink, you drive, you lose,” said Sheriff Mahoney.

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office reported 307 OWI (operating while intoxicated) citations in 2009.  49 of them were made by deputies working overtime as part of the county’s special enforcement.  This number does not include OWI citations and arrests made by all other law enforcement agencies in the county including those in cities and villages, the State Patrol, University of Wisconsin or Capitol Police.

“Across our county, in just the past year, our neighborhoods, communities, and high schools have come together to call attention to and prevent the problems caused by drinking too much,” Falk said.  “There’s a lot more work to do, but teaming together we’re making good progress confronting the greatest public safety threat facing our county.”


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