Our network

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over: National Crackdown on Impaired Driving is Underway | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over: National Crackdown on Impaired Driving is Underway
News, Transportation
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over: National Crackdown on Impaired Driving is Underway

 

As summer winds down, law enforcement organizations across the country are ramping up enforcement efforts as part of a national crackdown on drunk driving. This high-visibility campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, is a partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to curb impaired driving and save lives. 

From Aug. 21 through Sept. 7 (Labor Day), law enforcement partners nationwide will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of driving drunk, coupled with checkpoints and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce the toll of drunk driving. 

And what a toll it is. In 2013, there were 10,076 people killed in drunk-driving crashes, almost a third of all traffic fatalities. Thirty-eight percent of crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend that year involved drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher), amounting to 161 lives lost. And we’re not just talking about a little bit of alcohol, either. More than a quarter (27 percent) of the crash fatalities that occurred on Labor Day weekend involved drivers with BACs of .15 or higher — almost twice the illegal limit.

“Too many people think their actions don’t affect anybody else,” said Monic Farrar, program director of The Resource Training Center in Amherst. “They know it’s illegal and they know it’s wrong, but they do it anyway. They make decisions as if those statistics just can’t happen to them.”

The reality is, people aren’t invincible. Of the 10,076 people killed in impaired-driving crashes in 2013, 65 percent were the drunk drivers themselves. Those 6,515 drunk drivers planned on making it to their destinations, but they didn’t. 

In every state, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, and Farrar wants to remind  Western New York drivers that it’s not a recommendation — it’s the law! And during the enforcement period that started Aug. 21, there will be a special emphasis on drunk-driving enforcement. Local drivers should expect to see more patrol vehicles, DUI checkpoints, and increased messaging about this reckless, preventable crime. 

“The number of people who are still drinking and driving is unacceptable,” added Farrar. “Yes, we want to increase awareness for the campaign, but we want the effects to be permanent.”

NHTSA data shows that repeat offenders are an especially dangerous facet of the drunk-driving problem. In the month of August from 2009-2013, of the drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes, almost one out of 10 (8 percent) had already been convicted of at least one drunk-driving offense. 

Farrar also emphasized the preventable nature of drunk driving. “All it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don’t drink and drive.” 

Located in the Harlem Road Community Center at 4255 Harlem Road, The Resource Training Center offers a wide variety of services, including the New York State Drinking Driver Program for individuals convicted of an alcohol- or drug-related driving violation. For more information, please call 983-2258, email info@wnyresourcetraining.org or visit www.wnyresourcetraining.org. You can also follow The Resource Training Center on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Resource-Training-Center/112019195650348 or Twitter (@monica_farrar).

 

News, Transportation

Clarence Businesses