GREEN BAY - Memorial Day has evolved into a time of split focus. It's a time to honor the men and women who have died serving our country. But it's also a getaway time for many Americans.
An estimated 685,000 Wisconsinites will be traveling in some manner around the state.
Along the way they may encounter plenty of traffic, an increased presence from law enforcement and higher gas prices.
At one Green Bay fuel station, Dylan Bastien says gasoline has become unaffordable.
"It's $3.87, and that's going to go up. I need a half a tank still. It's going to be $25 for six gallons of gas, yeah," said Bastien, Green Bay.
Brett Woulf says a trip to the pump is a necessary evil.
"You got to deal with it. It's not like we have a choice. I'm getting sick of it. I wish they'd go down a little bit," said Woulf, Green Bay.
But industry experts say gas prices have gone up throughout the Midwest.
"The gas price spike that we've seen in about eight or nine states including Wisconsin, resulted from tight supply from four refineries in the mid-continent region. It occurred in Indiana, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com in a phone interview.
And motorists can expect an increased law enforcement presence this weekend. The Wisconsin State Patrol and the Oneida Police Department are asking drivers to slow down and buckle up.
"Everything in your car, in terms of safety, structure, airbags. All of those things are designed to save your life revolve around your wearing a seatbelt," said Mike Panosh, Wisconsin State Patrol.
Oneida police will join the Brown County OWI Task Force for two days this weekend.
"If you're out having a good time and had too much to drink, please reach out to a friend, reach out to a taxicab to get a safe ride home," said Rich Van Boxtel, Oneida Police Chief.
Meanwhile industry analysts estimate the price of gas will stabilize.
"Looking at Memorial Day weekend, don't be surprised if you see prices go flat or perhaps register just a nominal increase of perhaps a penny a gallon," said Laskoski.
Until then, some drivers say high gas prices won't spoil their holiday weekend plans.
"I'm going to still do what I got to do. I'm just trying to have fun, go up north for the weekend maybe, see what happens," said Woulf.
Gas prices in Wisconsin are about 20 cents more than the national average, and 13 cents more than this time last year.
Industry experts estimate that price will continue to drop anywhere from 5 to 25 cents a gallon in the next month.
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