Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Can Austin be far behind?

Winnebago County, Wisconsin is starting a "Mobil Eyes" program, which gives money to people for calling in drunk drivers.

Winnebago County recently adopted the Mobil Eyes program, which gives a $50 reward to people who call the Sheriff’s Department and give information leading to the arrest of drunken or erratic drivers.

The county implemented the program on Sept. 16. Since then, police arrested one drunken driver on U.S. Highway 41 and have hopes of catching more people.

The Sheriff’s Department is hopeful that adding the program will help people make the decision to avoid drinking and driving. But, if people still choose to make poor decisions, police think that Mobil Eyes will greatly increase the number of arrests in connection with drunken driving.

However, people who call in do not receive their reward until they fill out a form, which an on-sight police officer has to sign, saying that their tips led to the conviction. Also, the caller may be asked to give a statement to police or testify against the driver convicted if they bring their case to court.

Since the Mobil Eyes Foundation received their 501-C status in Dec. 1997, which allows them to receive charitable contributions as a non-profit organization, it has helped police in Wisconsin make nearly 1,450 arrests, according to president of the foundation David Karner.

Despite all the success the program has had, the lack of funding has caused the original reward of $100 to fall to $50, and possibly down to $25 or nothing at all in the future according to Karner.

Click here for the full story as reported in the Advance Titan