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August 14, 2008 (LITTLE ROCK) – As millions of Americans begin planning one last summertime getaway, more than 10,000 police agencies across the country are preparing to join in a concerted enforcement crackdown known as Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. The operation is aimed at impaired drivers. Leaders of Arkansas’s municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies today announced their officers will join forces with officers across the country beginning tomorrow and continuing through September 1st in a nationwide crackdown against impaired driving. The special enforcement campaign was announced this morning during a news conference led by Colonel Winford E. Phillips, Director of the Arkansas State Police, Gary Kelley, President of the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police, and Chuck Lange, Executive Director of the Arkansas Sheriff’s Association. Representatives of law enforcement agencies from across the state were in attendance and made similar announcements in their local jurisdictions. During 2006 nearly 13,500 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, according to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The records include more than 200 people who died in Arkansas crashes. “All too often there are innocent law abiding people who suffer from the tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to the careless disregard for human life by someone who was driving while impaired. We’re committed to ending these tragedies by intensifying enforcement operations aimed at impaired drivers, Colonel Phillips said. In Arkansas, more than 120 municipal law enforcement agencies, 26 county sheriffs departments, the Arkansas Highway Police and the Arkansas State Police will be especially vigilant during high risk nighttime hours when impaired drivers typically take to the local roads and state highways. Kelley said participating law enforcement officers will be aggressively looking for all impaired drivers during the crackdown operation and will arrest anyone they find driving while impaired. The arrests will occur without regard for age, vehicle type, or time of day. “Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state,” Kelley 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. Impaired driving is not an accident; it’s an epidemic of careless disregard for human life.” “Impaired driving, whether on a city, county, state or interstate roadway, not only puts the driver at risk of being killed but also of endangering someone else”, Lange said. “Even if an impaired driver beats the odds and walks away from a crash alive, motorists should be aware that the consequences of driving while impaired can still virtually destroy your life.” Violators often face jail time, loss of their driver license, or being sentenced to use an ignition interlock and higher insurance rates. Other financial costs include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects. When family, friends, and co-workers find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation. “Driving impaired is simply not worth all the consequences. So don’t take the chance. Remember, if you are over the limit and you are caught, you will be under arrest.” Colonel Phillips said. Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. 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 www.StopImpairedDriving.org or call the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8133.