OWI Task Force Backs Off on Compliance Checks
After lots of upsetting feedback, the OWI Task Force is sticking to the streets. Video by nbc26.comvideo
The Brown County OWI Task Force backs off on doing underage compliance checks inside bars. The Brown County Tavern League voiced concerns about the proposal, worrying the move would be bad for business. After lots of upsetting feedback, the OWI Task Force is sticking to the streets.
"I think it would have been detrimental to our industry," Brown County Tavern League President Barry Fitzgerald said.
The next time Fitzgerald is in a bar, he's celebrating no compliance checks.
"If you're enjoying a meal or drink with friends, and a uniformed officer is coming in and interacting with people, and looking for their IDs, I think that would definitely scare people away from coming to an establishment," Fitzgerald said.
He's one of several bar owners who's complaints came pouring in, after the OWI Task Force wanted to cite underage drinkers on the spot inside bars.
"People were just concerned that there are other ways that we can do different things outside of patrolling the road," Mike Panosh said, with Wisconsin State Patrol.
Panosh tells us they're now working with the Tavern League to find other ways to crack down.
"We want to promote the Tavern League's SafeRide Program. We want to promote taxi cab usage. We want to promote public transportation," Panosh said.
Coming together to prevent drunk driving deaths.
"The more we can work with them the better. I think their change of heart today is a good step in the right direction," Fitzgerald said.
Tavern League leaders would like to partner with the OWI Task Force on an awareness campaign inside the bars. They think it will be a more effective way to stop underage drinking.