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TMJ4 ride along: Police ramp up patrols for Memorial Day weekend to catch drunk drivers

"If you're out driving and you're impaired, we are going to stop you. We will find you and arrest you."
Posted at 10:20 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 23:20:09-04

GREENFIELD, Wis. — Law enforcement across the area is expanding patrols this weekend to catch intoxicated drivers.

According to the Southeast Wisconsin Impaired Driving Task Force, Memorial Day weekend is one of the deadliest on roads around the state every year.

The increase in patrols — 100 additional officers across Milwaukee and Waukesha counties — will last through Labor Day weekend in early September.

"I personally take a lot of pride in doing it, because I think it's one of the most important jobs we can do as cops," said Greenfield Police Officer Zach O'Neill, who took TMJ4 on a ride along Friday evening.

Forty law enforcement agencies are taking part in the Task Force.

Representatives from each of them met at Konkel Park on Friday for a "Street Roll Call” before rolling out to boost patrols.

"If you're out driving and you're impaired, we are going to stop you. We will find you and arrest you. Make safe choices," said Whitefish Bay Police Sgt. Daniel Rossman, who's also a Task Force board member.

According to the the latest state data, 27,785 people were arrested for OWI in 2019. Data also shows 2,918 people were injured in OWI-related accidents that year, and 140 people were killed.

During the ride along early Friday evening, Officer O'Neill stopped someone speeding along Forest Home Ave.

The driver, caught doing 50 in a 35 mph zone, received a ticket for $98.

An OWI will cost you a lot more in Greenfield — $861 if an officer pulls you over for swerving, for example, and is able to determine you've been drinking.

You can also receive a second ticket for $861 if your blood alcohol comes back over the legal limit.

"You have Uber. You have Lyft. Everybody has a cellphone nowadays. In my opinion, there’s really no excuse to feel like you have to drive home if you’re intoxicated, because you can just call somebody," said Officer O'Neill.

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