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STATEWIDE INITIATIVE LAUNCHED AGAINST DRUNK DRIVERS DURING UPCOMING HOLIDAY: “Driver Sober of Get Pulled Over”

August 17, 2015

   (LITTLE ROCK) – Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety representative, today announced the Arkansas Highway Safety Office’s coordination of a statewide drunk driving prevention enforcement effort.  The crackdown against drunk driving combines state, city and county law enforcement resources and coincides with the national initiative known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

  Over a seventeen day period beginning August 21st law enforcement officers in Arkansas will reinforce their patrol assignments aimed toward arresting drunk drivers.  Drivers should also expect to see an increase in sobriety checkpoints.  The public will also notice an increase in state and national media messages designed to educate everyone about the dangers of drunk driving.

  Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate more than 10,000 people across the United States died as the result of highway crashes involving motor vehicle drivers or motorcycle operators who were legally impaired with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .08 or higher.  The records include more than 123 people who died in Arkansas crashes.

   "Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state,” Colonel Bryant said.  “Yet we continue to see far too many people suffer debilitating injuries and loss of their loved ones as a result of impaired driving.  Even if no one is killed or injured, drivers should be aware that the consequences of driving while impaired (DWI) can have a huge negative impact on their life.”

   Impaired violators run the risk of jail time, loss of their driver license, ordered to install at their own expense ignition interlocks on their vehicles, as well as perform court ordered community service.  The financial impact is also considerable, including higher auto insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects.

   “Along with a DWI conviction and the financial consequences, violators also endure personal humiliation among friends and family,” Bryant said.  “Driving impaired is simply not worth all the consequences.  So don’t take the chance.  Remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, not only during the holidays but all year long.”

  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:

  • If you plan to consume alcohol, designate a sober driver who will remain sober and turn-over your keys to the designated driver.
  • If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi, take the bus or call a sober friend or family member to get you to your destination safely.
  • Promptly contact law enforcement and report drunk drivers you see on the roadways.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • If you’re on a motorcycle wear the appropriate protective equipment.

  “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a law enforcement initiative led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and combines high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.

   For more information on the crackdown, visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.  For more on the ongoing “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.