LITTLE ROCK — State and local law enforcement officers across Arkansas will step up enforcement of drunken-driving laws as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign later this month.
The campaign will begin Friday and run through Jan. 1.
“This is a wonderful time of the year, and we intend to do whatever we can to keep the highways and roads safe,” Col. Bill Bryant, director of the Arkansas State Police, said in a news release. “If you choose to drive drunk, not only will you risk your own safety and the safety of others, but you risk long-lasting legal consequences.”
The agency said that according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 there were 35,092 deaths from motor-vehicle accidents in the U.S. More than 10,000 of the people killed, or 29 percent, were in crashes involving drivers with blood-alcohol concentrations of 0.08 percent or greater.
In Arkansas, there were 531 roadway fatalities in 2015, with 148, or 28 percent, of the deaths alcohol-related.
The Arkansas State Police offered the following recommendations to stay safe on the roads over the holidays:
• If you plan to drink alcohol, designate a sober driver ahead of time.
• If you become intoxicated, call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member or use public transportation.
• If someone you know has been drinking, don’t let them drive. Take their keys, take them home or help them arrange a safe trip home.
• If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.