LITTLE ROCK - State and local law enforcement agencies will step up efforts to get drunken drivers off the roads during a Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign that will begin Friday and run through the Labor Day holiday weekend.
The Arkansas State Police said Monday the campaign, conducted in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will include sobriety checkpoints, increased numbers of officers on the roads and national and local media messages about the dangers of driving drunk.
According to NHTSA, an average of more than 10,000 people died each year between 2010 and 2014 in drunken-driving crashes. During the 2014 Labor Day holiday weekend, 40 percent of crash fatalities involved motor vehicle drivers or motorcycle operators who were legally impaired with blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 or higher, resulting in 162 deaths.
“Don’t trust yourself to drive when you drink alcohol,” Arkansas State Police Director Col. Bill Bryant said in a news release. “You may think you aren’t drunk, but even a small amount of alcohol can impair your judgment and ability to drive safely. Driving impaired is a crime that risks your life and the lives of loved ones. The consequences are severe and life changing.”
The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office offered the following recommendations:
—Designate a sober driver before going out if you plan to drink, and give that person your keys.
—If you have been drinking, call a taxi, take the bus or call a sober friend or family member to get you to your destination safely.
—Promptly report to law enforcement drunk drivers you see on the roadways.
—Always wear your seat belt.
—If you are on a motorcycle, use protective equipment.
For more information on the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For information on Arkansas’ Toward Zero Deaths campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.