From mid-December through New Year's Day, local police will be out in force as part of the annual nationwide "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" crackdown on drunk driving. The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Lawrence County, will run from December 13 through January 2, 2014.
The effective nationwide drunk driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb drunk driving over the winter holidays.
The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office said its deputies will be aggressively looking for drunk drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving drunk.
Although it is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive drunk (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation's continuing drunk driving epidemic.
"Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more impaired drivers or motorcycle operators," said Sheriff Brad DeLay. "in 2012, 230 people died in Missouri crashes involving impaired drivers. That works out to approximately one impaired driving fatality every 1 1/2 days."
Sheriff Brad DeLay added the winter holidays are particularly dangerous.
During the Christmas holidays in 2012, a total of 12 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving impaired drivers or motorcycle riders.
"Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Lawrence County's roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday period," said Sheriff DeLay.
"We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel drunk is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does drinking impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive. If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings, No excuses," Sheriff DeLay said.
Sheriff DeLay noted that being arrested for driving drunk brings a wide range of negative consequences into one's life. Drunk drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and step 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.
"Driving drunk is simply not worth the risk. So don't take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,'", said Sheriff DeLay.
For more information, visit the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Campaign Headquarters at www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov, or www.saveMolives.com.