BELOIT (WIFR) -- It costs thousands of dollars if we're pulled over for drunk driving, something officers in Beloit are on the lookout for this weekend.
Officers in Beloit say arrests for operating while intoxicated or OWI have dropped by about a hundred from 2012 to 2013. Police believe the drop is partly because more drivers are realizing it’s not worth the risk, in terms of the wallets and their safety. There can be a $1,000 fine for OWI in Wisconsin, plus additional fees to have you driver’s license reinstated and extra car insurance costs. Beloit police report that first time drunk driving arrests are down, however officers are seeing more second and third time offenders going to jail for OWI. Officers were out across Rock County on Friday and Saturday nights patrolling for drunk drivers. The goal is to make more people aware that driving even after just a few drinks can put your life and others lives in danger.
“A lot of it is because you lose control at certain numbers depending on weight, what you ate and drank, and some people don’t even actually realize that they may be intoxicated,” says Sgt. Mark Douglas of the Beloit Police Department. “They'll tell you, ‘yeah I felt fine’ but they're not actually fine."
Patrols on Friday night resulted in three arrests for OWI and another 14 citations for things like speeding and not wearing a seatbelt. The department was able to run these patrols because of a state grant. In the last three years Beloit Police have received $35,000 to conduct these types of patrols.