Law enforcement officials in Brown County say the Brown County OWI Task Force has reduced the number of deadly accidents in the county and has contributed to changing the connotation that surrounds drinking and driving in Green Bay and the surrounding area. The Task Force believes it has significantly raised the awareness level of drunk driving in Brown County.
There have been fewer deadly car accidents in Brown County this year and the lower number of fatal car crashes is related to the Brown County OWI Task Force. In comparison to last year there has been a 68 percent drop in the number of highway fatalities in the county. Last year at his time, twenty-five deaths had been reported and this year eight people have died in car accidents in the county. The regional program manager for the State Patrol's Bureau of Transportation Safety says eight fatalities is still way too many and that the State Patrol still has a way to go because that is eight families who have been impacted.
This year alcohol was a factor in two of the seven deadly accidents in Brown County. The two deadly drunken driving accidents mirror the number from last year. Officials believe the Task Force has helped reduce overall car accident numbers and has increased awareness of drunk driving.
The Task Force is a unit of six local law enforcement agencies, and the unit is active on the weekends to prevent drunk driving. Since February, officers on the Task Force have stopped 600 vehicles and issued at least 80 citations for drunken driving. The manager of the Brown County OWI Task Force says the 80 people who received citations were people who could have hurt themselves or others. When it comes to drinking and driving the managers says, "Everyone thinks it's not going to happen to them, until it does happen to them."
The Task Force will continue to inform the public of stings but will no longer announce locations. The fall schedule of stings is being formed and one location under consideration is Lambeau Field on game day.
Source: greenbaypressgazette.com, "Brown County OWI Task Force helps keep road deaths down," Charles Davis, Aug. 29, 2011