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Wisconsin Dells police will step up enforcement of alcohol related traffic offenses with a “zero tolerance” policy through September of 2019.

The enforcement will “mainly focus on weekends and holidays,” according to a release from Jody Ward, chief of police for the Wisconsin Dells Police Department.

“Officers will focus solely on alcohol related traffic offenses,” Ward said. “That will be their only job during that four-hour shift, and so OWI arrests will increase.”

The program emphasizing high visibility Operating While Intoxicated enforcement is part of a joint effort by the Wisconsin Dells Police Department, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department, the Portage Police Department, the Lodi Police Department, the Wyocena Police Department, and the Fall River Police Department. Ward created the Columbia County Task Force in 2014, with an emphasis on securing more grant funding for the enforcement agencies.

“This is an effective program for us,” Ward said. “We are fortunate to get the grant for this enforcement.”

Stepped up enforcement is made possible through a federal grant of $27,500, which will be shared by the Columbia County law enforcement agencies. During 2017, officers in the Wisconsin Dells Police Department made 54 OWI arrests.

“I encourage our citizens and visitors to utilize the resources provided in our community, such as the ‘Safe Ride’ program and multiple taxi services, to make our road safer,” Ward said.

Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.