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“Saturation Patrols” Or Saturation Taverns In Dane County Wisconsin?

December 14, 2008

There is no doubt, and the statistics prove me correct on this, that there are too many people who drive while intoxicated in Wisconsin.   There is no right, legal or otherwise, that allows someone with not enough common sense, but yet too much alcohol in their blood, to get behind the wheel of several thousand pounds of metal going at a high rate of speed at the time that law abiding citizens are also out on the same roads.  There is no rationale that anyone can possibly give to deny the right of safety from those who cavalierly drink and drive.  In addition, there is no rationale that tavern owners can give to say their bottom lines are more important than the safety of state residents.

Yet there is an effort to stymie the work of law enforcement who are stopping those who are impaired due to over-drinking before they might injure or kill someone.   The Dane County Tavern League is seeking a legal remedy to stop the efforts of law enforcement in the Village of Deforest  from working at public safety.

If you hear the folks who pour the drinks tell the story they are the innocent victims of law enforcement, who over the past months have stepped up efforts to curb drinking and driving, a past-time that has become a hobby for too many in Wisconsin for far too long.    The police set up what is termed “saturation patrols”, that seek to check on the sobriety of drivers who either drive erratically, or have a blinker that is not functioning correctly, or fail to have an up-to-date car registration on their license. 

Dane County Tavern League President Barb Mercer says this is just unfair for the tavern owners.  “They’re scared to death, because this is their livelihood; this is their business, and there’s only seven or eight taverns in what whole area.”

Seven or eight taverns in the Village of Deforest?   Really. 

In 2000 the census reported that this municipality had a population of  7,368 citizens.  Roughly 33% of the population was under the legal drinking age.   Another 8% was aged 65 and over, and I am speculating they do not spend a lot of time in bars.  Then there is the other large segment of the population that just never goes to a bar.  In other words, as my readers can see where I am heading with this, one might question Barb Mercer about whether there is a problem with law enforcement’s ‘saturation’, or the fact that there might be a saturation of taverns.

Look, I have no problem with someone drinking.  But I have a HUGE problem with the drinking culture in Wisconsin that seems to wink and nod and even snicker over the act of being unable to drive but still getting behind the wheel and hitting the road.  What a great story that will be the next time I see the good-ole-boys. They will chuckle over that one.

Enough already.

I applaud and encourage the law enforcement efforts in DeForest, and urge like-minded citizens to call and offer support to the efforts to stop drinking and driving.

I think most will agree that my right to be safe on the road comes ahead of someone who is impaired from driving, and still feels they have the same rights to the road.  Lets not forget that continued efforts to ferret out those who should not be behind the wheel while drunk is public money well spent.  It tavern owners will not police their own clientele, then the public will be forced to pay the price and do the work.

One Comment
  1. December 15, 2008 10:23 AM

    probably just me, but I see neither a controversy nor an argument here. what, exactly, is your point? or, put a different way, how does this article demonstrate that the tavern leagues action, if successful, will prevent the continued presence of the saturation patrols?

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