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June 29, 2015

For additional information contact:
Arkansas State Police-Highway Safety Office

Ann Whitehead (501) 618-8133


(LITTLE ROCK) – The Fourth of July is a favorite holiday among Americans.  But with summer fun, parades, parties and fireworks, the holiday typically proves to be deadly on streets and highways across the country.

Nationwide there were 199 people killed in alcohol related crashes during the 2013 July 4th holiday period.

Arkansas State Police Director and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative Colonel Bill Bryant says, “For everyone’s sake, don’t drink and drive.  The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving – no excuses.”

The crackdown on drunk driving during the coming holiday period will involve state, city and county law enforcement officers devoting additional patrol hours beginning today and continuing through July 5th.  Their target will be the drivers who are impaired and endangering the lives of others traveling on Arkansas roadways.

Drivers who have consumed alcohol or drugs should remember they are putting their own life and the lives of others at risk.

Driving impaired can lead to other serious consequences.  Even if no one is killed or hurt, a DWI arrest can lead to jail time, driver license suspension, costly legal expenses, court fines and higher driver insurance rates.

In every state it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher, yet people continue to break the law and drive drunk.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports show that in fatal crashes during the July Fourth period in 2013, more than one-fifth (21%) of involved drivers or motorcycle operators had BAC’s of .15 or higher – almost twice the legal limit.

The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recommends these simple tips to prevent drunk driving:

  •         Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
  •         Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
  •         If you have been drinking, call a taxi or a sober friend or family member to ask for a ride home.
  •         If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
  •         If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

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 more on the ongoing “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign, visit TZDarkansas.org.