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Driver arrested in first hour of stepped up holiday patrols

NOW: Driver arrested in first hour of stepped up holiday patrols

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - The night before Thanksgiving has become a busy night at bars in Wisconsin.

It’s become known as “Blackout Wednesday.”

That has local law enforcement stepping up patrols.

“We’ve got family events, work events, parties, all these things are starting tonight,” said Lt. Luke Vetter from the Wauwatosa Police Department.

He kicked off the impaired driving patrols that are happening all over the Milwaukee area.

“These officers are going to be out here in full force stopping, testing and arresting those impaired drivers,” said Lt. Vetter.

40 agencies in Southeastern Wisconsin are taking part in stepped up patrols.

Officer Joseph Benson from the South Milwaukee Police Department allowed us to ride along on his patrol Wednesday night.

Within a minute of leaving the station, there was a call.

“Right now we have a one car accident,” said Officer Benson.

A driver appeared to crash his car into a telephone pole wire.

It wasn’t long before officers noticed he was slurring his words.

Officer Benson ran the driver through a series of field sobriety tests, the man appeared to fail each one.

After a few minutes, Officer Benson told the man that he believed he was impaired and under arrest.

During a search of the man’s pockets, officer found heroin and needles.

It’s the reason why police give special attention to the night before Thanksgiving.

“We want the public to have a great holiday season, we want them to have fun, but we also want them to be safe,” said Lt. Vetter.

The patrols will run through the entire holiday weekend.

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