The holiday season is suppose to be a holly, jolly time of year. And we hope it has been for everyone on the EagleHerald list of readers. 

But it also is a time for people to be responsible when celebrating with family and friends. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched a campaign warning everyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle not to drink and drive. The campaign is tabbed “Drive Sober or get Pulled Over.” It’s a pretty simple slogan for everyone to understand.

The campaign began before Christmas and will continue through Jan. 1. The DOT is utilizing federal funds to support the stepped-up law enforcement efforts, public education and outreach. 

“The goal of this federal, state and local initiative is to prevent needless tragedies along our roadways and help ensure everyone has a safe, enjoyable holiday season,” noted Dave Ross, secretary of DOT. “We appreciate all those who will be working over the holidays to serve and protect the public. Motorists can do their part by buckling up, watching their speed and being patient and alert every trip.” 

At this time one year ago, Wisconsin counted 169 alcohol-related deaths and more than 3,000 personal injuries. At the same time there were more than 24,200 drunken driving convictions. No pun intended, but those are staggering figures for our state. 

While alcohol-impaired driving remains a big concern, Wisconsin and many other states, including Michigan, see a growing challenge with drugged drivers, the latter being people whose ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is compromised by drugs, including prescription or over-the-counter medications and illegal narcotics.

Wisconsin, for one, is doing something about the problem. They have 25 multijurisdictional, high-visibility OWI enforcement task forces that operate year-round across the state. Additionally, the state has about 3,800 law enforcement officers trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement to help detect and remove impaired drivers from roadways. The state also has 292 highly-trained drug recognition experts, among the most in the nation, doing their part. 

The DOT says citizens can help in the campaign, too, by simply calling 911 if they see an impaired driver on the road. 

People who intend to celebrate should know the old standby method by now — have a designated driver with you. Never allow a person, no matter the relationship, to get behind the wheel if they are impaired. Some taverns and restaurants have programs in place to provide patrons with a safe ride home. 

Revelers should not be looking forward to ushering in the new year by doing something stupid. Law enforcement officers, no matter the state, will be watching. The lesson is clear: “Drive Sober or get Pulled Over.”