Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Sheriff's Office

Don’t Depend On Dumb Luck, Designate A Sober Driver

March 12, 2009
Contact: Elise Schaffer, PIO Phone: (608) 284-6142 Email:
Sheriff's Office

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is urging motorists to help keep the roads safe this St. Patrick’s Day by drinking responsibly and designating a sober driver before heading to local parades and pubs. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that over the past five years, 851 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Out of that number, 327 were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. “St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to be a time to celebrate Irish heritage and gather with friends, but it can quickly end in tragedy due to impaired driving,” said Sheriff David Mahoney. “If you plan on drinking, don’t rely on luck to keep you safe or keep you out of trouble. Be responsible and take appropriate precautions.” The Dane County Sheriff’s Office has designated the next week to deploy additional patrol deputies for both speed and OWI enforcement. The added presence is made possible with traffic safety grants from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Traffic Team deputies will also be providing extra OWI enforcement over the weekend. According to NHTSA research, impaired driving remains one of America’s deadliest problems. In 2007, 41,059 people nationwide were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Out of that number, 12,998 were killed in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher.