With Labor Day fast approaching, the high-intensity nationwide crackdown on drunk driving is in full mobilization with the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which runs from August 19 through September. 5.
Broadcast and cable television, radio, online and social media spots with the tagline will be aired throughout the period, and drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and stepped up enforcement of drunk driving laws.
Law enforcement officers want you to know the following: "If you are caught behind the wheel after having too much to drink, you will be arrested and prosecuted. No excuses. No exceptions."
Here are the facts:
- Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
- Nearly 11,000 people were killed in 2009 in U.S. highway crashes involving drivers or motorcycle riders with illegal BACs of .08 or higher. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics are 10,839 fatalities, nearly a third of the total vehicle traffic crash fatalities during that period.
- Impaired driving is a crime, not an accident. In fact, it’s one of America’s deadliest and most-often-committed crimes.
Safety precautions can help save lives – including yours
Preventing tragedies from impaired-driving crashes from happening can be done. Keep the following safety recommendations in mind, and share them with family and friends.
- Designate a sober driver. It’s really very simple. If you plan on drinking alcohol with friends, designate one person as the sober driver before you go out. Arrange to alternate the designated driver to keep things on a fair basis, and insist that absolutely no alcohol be consumed by that individual.
- If you are impaired, don’t drive. Don’t take the chance, not with your life and certainly not with anyone else’s. Call a sober friend or family member to come get you and bring you home safely. Or call a taxi, take a bus, or walk home if you live reasonably close.
- Report impaired drivers you see on the road. It isn’t ratting out some innocent citizen. If you see drivers on the road weaving, cutting in and out, going too slow or otherwise driving erratically, promptly call law enforcement. Your call may just save someone’s life.
- Wear your seat belt. In a car, always wear your seat belt. On a motorcycle, use a helmet and protective gear. Experts say these are your best defense against impaired drivers.
- Take the keys of impaired friends. This may be a tricky situation to handle, but you’ll be doing everyone a favor by securing the keys of people you know who are about to drive or you’re supposed to ride with someone who’s impaired. Help the impaired individual get where they’re going safely by arranging a ride with a sober person or drive them yourself if you haven’t been drinking.