Cops Running Holiday Crackdown in Menomonee Falls

December 12, 2011 by  

From Dec. 9 to 17, the Menomonee Falls Police Department will have increased patrols as part of its “Booze and Belts” campaign, which is taking place throughout Wisconsin. Between seatbelts and drunk driving, Wisconsin saw close to 160,000 convictions in 2010. Local law enforcement officials are hoping the campaign’s added deterrence could get that number down; they claim revenue is not the goal.

Menomonee Falls Chief of police, Anna Ruzinski, defended the campaign. “Our officers will be out in force during the Booze and Belts mobilization needless traffic deaths. . . . ”

Of the 160,000 convictions, only 40,000 were drunk-driving arrests, but the punishment is severe as a part of Wisconsin’s goal of zero preventable traffic deaths in the state. Like most states these days, people arrested for impaired driving in Wisconsin will face fines, jail time, license suspensions, ignition interlock devices and outrageous insurance bills if convicted.

During the campaign, police will obviously be focusing on arresting impaired drivers and issuing citations to unbuckled drivers and passengers, but Ruzinski insists that’s not the point. Ruzinski believes that keeping drivers safe during the holiday season will take more than increasing awareness through printing services like poster and flyer printing.

“Our goal is not to make more drunken driving arrests or write more safety belt tickets,” Ruzinski said. “We are striving to save lives and prevent injuries, so we hope that people will voluntarily decide to buckle up and drive sober.”

Ruzinski made no comment as to why the campaign would begin so early in the season yet conclude more than a week before Christmas.