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LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ANNOUNCE COMBINED EFFORT TO ARREST 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY DRUNK DRIVERS

June 25, 2010 (LITTLE ROCK) - The Arkansas State Police and local law enforcement agencies will assign additional personnel to saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints during the Fourth of July holiday period, July 1st – 5th. The effort is part of the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest campaign designed to educate, identify and apprehend drunk drivers. “Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs isn’t worth the risk,” said Colonel Winford E. Phillips, Director of the Arkansas Sate Police and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “No matter your age, if you’ve been drinking or may be impaired in any manner, you should find a safe and sober ride to your destination or face the likelihood of being arrested,” Colonel Phillips stated. Recent statistics underscore the importance of the crackdown. During the 2008 Independence Day holiday period (6:00 p.m. Thursday, July 3rd to 5:59 a.m. Monday July 7th) there were 491 traffic related fatalities nationally. Forty-three percent involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Six people died on Arkansas roads during the same reporting period and four of the deaths were drug or alcohol related. “Too many people still fail to understand that alcohol and driving don’t mix. Impaired driving is no accident nor is it a victimless crime. It’s vitally important that we eliminate drunk driving and stop these needless tragedies,” Colonel Phillips said. During 2008 more than 37,260 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes and from that number, 11,773 people died in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher. Drunk driving can be prevented with a few simple precautions: • Plan a safe way home before the holiday festivities begin. • Designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home. • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely. • If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement agency. • Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely. Read about drunk driving prevention at www.StopImpairedDriving.org or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.