MILWAUKEE — New Year's Eve is traditionally one of the most dangerous for drivers.
Law enforcement throughout southeast Wisconsin was out in full force Friday, warning people: your decision to get behind the wheel could have deadly consequences.
"We will have additional deputies on throughout the night working to ensure against reckless driving and against those that choose to operate while under the influence," said Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas.
MCSO and Milwaukee Police pleaded with people Friday afternoon to take it easy this holiday and make smart decisions.
"The Milwaukee Police will have additional holiday patrols out this evening to have a very visible presence within the community," said MPD Inspector Shannon Seymer-Tabaska.
The potential for winter weather and slippery roads throughout the weekend adds concern.
"Your car is going to spin out, slip, and if you can't react as fast as you normally would being sober, you have a much higher probability of crashing," said Wisconsin State Patrol Trooper Sean Wiedersheim.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, someone is hurt or killed in an alcohol-related crash approximately every three hours. The agency reports 167 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2020, and 80 people died in drug-involved crashes. In 2019, 59 people died in drug-related crashes.
Law enforcement says it's imperative to plan a safe ride home ahead of time.
Milwaukee County Transit System partnered with Molson Coors to offer free rides on all MCTS routes from 8 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday.
State Trooper Wiedersheim stressed the goal is to keep everyone safe and prevent tragedy.
"The amount of times I've had to respond to crashes that resulted from either intoxicated by alcohol or drugs driver, and the people they hit died, or they died, or people in their car died, it's not fun," Wiedersheim said. "And the amount of OWI's that I enforce I take pride in it because I know what can happen if they do get down the road and end up hitting someone."