Twenty-seven law enforcement agencies will show their unified strength in the Town of Brookfield next week Thursday. The Southeast Wisconsin Multi-Jurisdictional OWI Task Force will be holding a street roll call that evening at 4 p.m. at the Goerke's Corners Park n Ride.
"It's a high-traffic area and it's very effective. There's a lot of people that drive by and say 'What the heck is going on here?'" OWI Task Force Chairman Ken Pileggi said. "We want to make a visual impact to show people how serious we take this."
Law enforcement agencies will be stepping up patrols in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties in the weeks to come with Summerfest and the Fourth of July coming up in Southeastern Wisconsin.
"We all go out in our communities and actively seek and patrol hardcore for drunk drivers," Pileggi said. "Most of these officers have been to the aftermath of an accident where you see needless injuries and needless deaths."
Joining the officers for the roll call will be state Sen. Lena Taylor, and Paul Jenkins, whose daughter Jennifer Bukosky was killed by an impaired driver in 2008.
Roll calls are common for the OWI Task Force around times when law enforcement expects an increased number of impaired drivers to be on the streets.
"We have them when there's going to be a lot of partying going on. We have one on Dec. 31 and on St. Patrick's Day, and now we've added one on July 3," Pileggi said.
Pileggi stressed the importance that party-goers make alternative arrangements for transportation if they plan on drinking.
"We're just trying to get the message out there. We hit our communities and we hit them hard. A lot of great people make mistakes, but those mistakes can ruin families," Pileggi said. "I'd rather take you to jail than have to go notify your family or somebody else's family that someone was killed."
According to statistics gathered by the Pileggi, 1 in 19 drivers that are stopped are impaired.
"That's very alarming when you see the volume of traffic stops that we make," Pileggi said. "It just demonstrates how much work we still have to do."
Pileggi suggested that people consider the use of public transportation as well as establishing a designated driver prior to beginning any festivities that could result in impairment.
Data from the task force says that, in 2014, law enforcement agencies made five OWI arrests during Pridefest, nine on Cinco de Mayo, 13 over Memorial Day weekend, and 51 over St. Patrick's Day weekend.
Both the city and Town of Brookfield Police Departments as well as the Village of Elm Grove Police Department are members of the task force.
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