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Holiday Highway Safety Campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”

December 11, 2014

Additional Information Contact
ASP Highway Safety Office – Ann Whitehead
(501) 618-8133   ann.whitehead@asp.arkansas.gov

 

  (LITTLE ROCK) – Beginning tomorrow the Arkansas State Police will join other state and local law enforcement agencies to make Arkansas highways and roads safer during the holiday season.

  “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a public safety campaign initiative involving state, county and city law enforcement officers across the United States.  It will be implemented during a three-week period encompassing the Christmas and New Year holidays (Friday, December 12th through January 1st.)

  "The holiday season should be a time of joy, not a time of tragedy and loss. That’s why Arkansas motorists can expect to see an increase in saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, anytime, anywhere,” said Colonel Stan Witt, Arkansas State Police Director and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.

  “We understand that celebrations are a part of the season, but we ask that the public celebrate responsibly,” said Colonel Witt.  “Drunk driving is a crime that will not be tolerated and law enforcement officers will not accept excuses. If you’re caught driving impaired by alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested and taken to jail.”

  More than 10,000 people are killed each year as a result of drunk drivers behind the wheel of vehicles. This time of year is especially dangerous due to frequent holiday festivities.

  According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the month of December 2012 there were 830 people killed in crashes involving at least one drunk driver or motorcycle operator. On average, a third (31 percent) of all crash fatalities in the United States involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol.

  Drivers are considered to be alcohol impaired when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 grams per deciliter or higher.  During 2012 there were 143 (26 percent) traffic related fatalities in Arkansas involving alcohol impaired drivers.  Fifteen of the fatalities occurred during the month of December.

  Using good judgment and following some simple rules will be your best defense against an impaired driver.  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends:

  • Always plan ahead whenever you expect to consume alcohol.
  • Designate a sober driver before going out 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 safety belt.
  • And if you’re on a motorcycle use protective equipment.

  For more information on the campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDarkansas.org.