‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Campaign Kicks Off Friday
Summer is winding down and Labor Day Weekend is just around the corner. It's the last holiday weekend of the summer and maybe that's why it is notorious for being a dangerous weekend to be on the road. Law enforcement is trying to change that.
According to Lieutenant Todd Harness with the Texarkana, Ark., Police Department:
The Texarkana, Ark., Police Department, in conjunction with local, county, and state law enforcement with begin our 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign August 21 through Sept. 7, 2015. Law enforcement officers will be stepping-up enforcement of traffic safety laws looking for impaired drivers. Overtime Funds for this campaign are provided by a Selective Traffic Enforcement Grant funded through the City of Texarkana, Ark., State of Arkansas and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The strong nationwide impaired driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb alcohol impaired driving in August and throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Sgt. (Nick) Elrod said officers will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.
During the 2013 calendar-year, there were 10,076 people killed in drunk–driving crashes, almost a third of all traffic fatalities. Thirty-eight percent of crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend that year involved drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 or higher), amounting to 161 lives lost. And we’re not just talking about a little bit of alcohol, either. More than a quarter (27 percent) of the crash fatalities that occurred on Labor Day weekend involved drivers with BACs of .15 or higher—almost twice the illegal per se limit.
“Too many people think their actions don’t affect anybody else,” Elrod said. “They know it’s illegal. They know it’s wrong. But they do it anyway – they make decisions as if those statistics just can’t happen to them,” Elrod added.
Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that repeat offenders are an especially dangerous facet of the drunk-driving problem. In the month of August from 2009-2013, of the drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes, almost 1 out of 10 (8 percent) of them had already been convicted of at least one drunk-driving offense.
“Obviously we want to remind everyone that it is illegal to drive impaired, and we hope the campaign will remind people that if they plan on drinking, to never get behind the wheel,” Elrod said. “But if someone does choose to drive impaired, we will arrest them. No warnings. No excuses.”
Those arrested for DWI face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.
For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Headquarters at www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.