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Drunk driving enforcement stepped up for New Year's Eve

Posted at 7:07 PM, Dec 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-30 10:00:36-05

Make good decisions this New Year's Eve and expect to see a lot of law enforcement out on the roads watching for drunk drivers. 

Acting Milwaukee County Sheriff Richard Schmidt said an impaired driver task force spanning 35 agencies across Southeastern Wisconsin plan to triple their numbers for the holiday that’s known to be one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. 

"This is a chronic problem and one which we need to change the culture,” Schmidt said. 

"The task force has found that the average prohibited alcohol concentration on the people we stop is .15, that's nearly twice the legal limit of the .08 that is intoxicated by law,” Schmidt also said. 

Schmidt suggests having a plan in place to either take a cab, ride-sharing service or a designated driver. Hosed on Brady has an even cheaper alternative to keep intoxicated patrons off the road. 

"Think of it like a ticket you know, they give it to the cab driver,” said employee Jason Hall. 

Hall said it’s called the Safe Ride program through the Tavern League of Wisconsin. If someone feels they’ve had too much to drink, the bar will call a cab and cover the first $25 of their ride home. Hall said this officer isn’t just for the holiday. 

"We're open 364 days a year and so anytime we're open,” he said. 

The Tavern League said the Safe Ride vouchers were used 85,000 times last year. 

The Milwaukee County Transit System is partnering with Miller Brewing Company again this year to provide free rides along normal routes after 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve.