Police officers around Milwaukee County are increasing their presence Saturday night, when many people will be out celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
In 2018, there were 19 OWI arrests in Milwaukee County on St. Patrick’s Day. Officers hope to decrease that number in 2019.
“We will have many officers on the freeway across all shifts looking specifically for drivers showing signs of impairment,“ Deputy Inspector Daniel Hughes said.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, the Sheriff’s Office and Milwaukee County Transit teamed up with Miller Brewing to encourage responsible celebrations.
“Please do not drive while intoxicated," Hughes said. "If you are arrested, you will end up getting a free ride from us, and the destination will be the Milwaukee County Jail."
“They will pull you over because driving and getting behind the wheel when you had too much to drink is not just a danger to you but a danger to others as well, and we take that very seriously,” Abele said.
“Please do not drive while intoxicated. If you are arrested, you will end up getting a free ride from us, and the destination will be the Milwaukee County Jail." — Daniel Hughes, deputy inspector
Dale Zbieranek owns Dale Z.’s On Tour, a bar on Milwaukee’s south side. For Zbieranek, the increase in St. Patrick’s Day business means more responsibility on his end to make sure people don’t drive while intoxicated.
“Our staff and along with people's friends and the customers themselves, if they’ve had enough to drink say, 'Hey, let’s get home safe,' ” Zbieranek said.
Dale Z.'s and many other Tavern League bars have another solution: the Safe Ride Program. The program offers $23 toward a cab ride.
“If a person feels like it’s time to go or our staff feels like it’s time to go, we will have a conversation with that person, find out where they live and order that taxi,” Zbieranek said.