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By E’Lyse Golden, Investigative Reporter
Press Release – GARLAND COUNTY SHERIFF’s DEPARTMENT (Deputy Courtney Kizer)
Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over Holiday DWI Enforcement Campaign
For many, the holidays are the best time of year, a time to come together to celebrate, to reflect, and to be in the company of friends and family. However, in December 2018, 839 people lost their lives to traffic crashes involving a drunk driver. That means that 839 families had to begin the new year with heartache and sorrow over the loss of their loved one to a senseless death.
The holidays can prove to be a deadly time on America’s roads, as many are traveling to and from parties and festivities, often after having had too much to drink. To help keep people safe on the streets and put an end to drunk driving, local law enforcement will be out in full force in support of the 2019 Holiday Season Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Between December 13, 2019, and January 1, 2020, law enforcement officers nationwide will team up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to participate in high-visibility enforcement, pulling over and arresting drunk drivers.
The numbers are shocking: In 2018, one person died every 50 minutes in a drunk-driving crash in America. These deaths account for approximately one-third of all traffic deaths each year, with 10,511 deaths occurring in 2018, alone. Even with drunk driving being illegal in all 50 states and Washington, DC, the numbers remain similar year after year.
During the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2018 alone, we saw more drunk- driving-related fatalities (285) than during any other holiday period that year. These fatalities are preventable, and drivers must remember that driving impaired by any substance — drugs or alcohol — is deadly, illegal, and selfish behavior.
The decision to not drink and drive should never be a tough one. Drunk driving is illegal and can be deadly — to the driver, to his or her passengers, and to other road users. We will be out on high alert, seeking out drunk drivers during the holiday period, showing zero tolerance for anyone driving drunk. If we find you driving drunk, you will be arrested — no excuses.
This news should not come as a shock; everyone knows it is against the law to drive impaired in every state and Washington, DC. Alcohol consumption impairs your driving skills and lowers inhibitions, which can cause you to make bad decisions you would not otherwise make. Do not trust yourself when you drink.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over national high-visibility enforcement campaign ends on January 1, 2020. However, our commitment to enforcing drunk-driving laws never ends. Drunk driving is never okay. If you are planning to drink, plan ahead for a sober ride home. Even one drink can be one too many. Remember these tips for a safe night on the roads:
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely.
- If available, use your community’s sober ride program
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact Garland County Sheriff’s Office
- Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
Ultimately, drunk driving is 100-percent preventable. Don’t make the choice to put yourself and others at risk.
For more information about the 2019 Holiday Season Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit this link CLICK HERE.