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University Police part of drunken-driving crackdown

RELEASED: Aug. 23, 2010

University Police emblemEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Police will mobilize along with other law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin for the annual "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest" crackdown on impaired motorists from Aug. 20-Sept. 6.

This is the first statewide crackdown on drunken driving since a new law took effect July 1 that significantly strengthens deterrents and increases penalties for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in Wisconsin.

"During the upcoming crackdown and throughout the year, our goal is not to arrest more drunken drivers," said Sgt. Jay Dobson, University Police. "We simply are trying to save lives and prevent injuries. If we can deter people from getting behind the wheel when they're impaired, we will make progress toward the goal of reducing the number of preventable traffic deaths to zero in Wisconsin."

The new state law increases jail time for many OWI convictions. In addition, it requires first-offense OWI drivers who were convicted with a blood/breath alcohol concentration of .15 or higher and all repeat drunken drivers to install an ignition interlock device on every vehicle they own or have registered in their name. An IID, which measures breath alcohol levels, makes convicted drunken drivers prove they are sober before they can start a vehicle.

Throughout the state, drunken driving devastates individuals, families and communities. Alcohol-related crashes killed 238 people and injured 3,793 last year. There were approximately 45,000 convictions for drunken driving in Wisconsin in 2009.

For more information, contact the University Police at 715-836-2222 or police@uwec.edu.

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RD/DW

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