Project Drive Sober: OWI Ride Along

Posted at 4:28 PM, Dec 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 10:33:07-05

It's a busy Thursday night in Appleton.

A lot of drivers are out and about, and the police department is busy too.

"The whole purpose of this night is to catch drunk drivers," Officer Yang Kong Lee said.

Officer Lee and Officer Woelfel are on OWI patrol.

"We know that a lot of people that are going to be leaving, driving out of the bar - there's a high probability that they may be driving impaired," Lee said.

Not everybody that's pulled over is impaired. The officers make a few stops and issues warnings. Later on, a driver calls police and says that a car is swerving all over the road. When Officer Lee arrives, officers have the car boxed in.

"Right away you could smell the alcohol on her," Lee said.

Officer Lee questions the woman and then puts her through field sobriety tests. Eventually she takes a breathalyzer test that reads .154. It's almost two times the legal limit. Officer Lee will take her to the hospital for a blood draw.

"I need to place you under arrest for operating while under the influence," he tells the driver.

"We're lucky that we were the ones that caught her and not the other way around," Lee said after the arrest. "I've seen this turn out so differently where they end up crashing and hurting themselves or hurting other people."

The goal of this night is to get drunk drivers off the street. It's a goal that also continues after this arrest, this patrol, and this night.

"I definitely see the message getting out there, but I still think we've got a ways to go before a lot more people realize that there is a consequence to driving impaired," Lee said.

This story will run Tuesday night on NBC26 at 10:00.