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ASP gearing up for Labor Day holidays

By submitted, 08/14/17 12:52 PM

Arkansas State Police

LITTLE ROCK – One last blast of summer fun too often turns into death and tragedy caused by drunk drivers traveling across state roads and highways.  The Labor Day holiday period is among the deadliest travel periods on Arkansas highways.

Beginning August 18 and continuing through September 4, state and local law enforcement officers will be aggressively targeting their patrols in search of drunk drivers.  The enforcement plan is part of a nationwide effort designed to stop drunk driving and save lives.  The Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will pair increased public awareness with high visibility law enforcement presence.  The objective is to reduce the number of drunk drivers getting behind the wheel of a vehicle to endanger others and themselves.

“Zero tolerance for drunk driving is the standing order for our troopers,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “With additional sobriety checkpoints planned across the state and an increased number of troopers and other officers on the roads, we want to ensure safe traveling for Arkansans and out of state visitors.”

The consequences of drunk driving are severe and life changing.  Drunk or drug impaired drivers run the risk of jail time, loss of driver license, installation of ignition interlocks on their vehicles and court ordered community service.  The financial impact is also considerable, including higher vehicle 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,” Colonel 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.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,265 people nationwide were killed in drunk driving crashes during 2015, an increase from the 9,967 individuals killed during 2014.  During the 2015 Labor Day holiday reporting period, there were 460 crash fatalities nationwide.  Forty percent involved drivers who had been drinking and among that group, 33% were drunk (.08+ BAC), and 23% involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the illegal limit (.15+ BAC).

The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends the following:

  • Always plan ahead whenever you expect to drive and consume alcohol. Designate a sober driver before leaving 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 contact law enforcement to report drunk drivers you see on the roadways.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • If you’re on a motorcycle, use protective safety equipment.

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.


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