State officials encourage snowmobilers to drive sober - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

State officials encourage snowmobilers to drive sober

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MERRILL (WAOW) -- State leaders unveil a new effort to encourage sober snowmobiling.

Transportation leaders said they'll spend $40,000 airing public service announcements during the Super Bowl weekend. Those will be about not drinking and riding. So far this winter season, five snowmobile fatalities have been reported in Wisconsin. Authorities said alcohol was a factor in three of those.

"That's still way too many people that have lost family members or work colleagues or that type of thing," said WISDOT director of the Bureau of Transportation Safety, Sandra Huxtable. "But we have to start somewhere. We have to make an impact. We have to get people to change their behavior and at least plan ahead and be responsible."

"The last thing you want to do is worsen your reaction time, worsen your concentration by introducing any level of alcohol into your system," said DNR ATV/Snow administrator Gary Eddy.

A four-officer team is specifically assigned to patrol trails around the state. Last week, they were in Eagle River. This weekend, they'll head to Bayfield county to monitor the trails there.

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