Nobody likes to be a wet blanket but folks, July 4th is notorious for drunk-driving accidents. It’s a terrible thought to express, but some people going out to celebrate won’t be returning home. Those who have taken it upon themselves to think they are the exception, that they can drink and drive, will inflict pain and misery on many innocent people.
To prevent these tragedies from happening in our state, Arkansas law enforcement officers will participate in the statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over operation.
Stepped-up patrols among state, county and city law enforcement agencies will have officers on the lookout for drunk drivers. Motorists should expect to see more sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols involving a unified police force working to keep the highways and streets safe.
Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative said, “Making the choice to drink and drive can be deadly. It’s irresponsible behavior, and we will be out in full force to put a stop to it.”
DUI Statistics and Blood Alcohol Levels
Statistics show that drunk driving is a deadly epidemic in our nation. According to the State Police, during 2015 there were more than 10,250 people killed in alcohol related crashes. These deaths accounted for almost a third of nationwide traffic fatalities nationwide.
It is illegal in Arkansas and in most every state to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.
The costs and consequences of drinking and driving while intoxicated
The cost associated with drinking and driving intoxicated are extraordinarily high. On average the cumulative costs can range upwards of $10,000 or more. Drunk drivers who are arrested face jail time, vehicle towing and impoundment fees, attorney fees, court costs and fines, and lost wages from employment. A conviction routinely leads to the loss of a driver license and higher vehicle insurance costs once driving privileges are restored.
You can still have fun, and drink – just don’t drive. Follow these tips offered by the Arkansas Highway Safety Office as alternatives to drinking and driving:
- It’s never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get to your destination safely. Plan a safe way home before you leave.
- If you’ve have been drinking, call a taxi or someone who is sober to get you home.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
- If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get safely to their destination.
- Buckle up, always. Your seat belt is your best defense against the drunk driver.
For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. Information about Arkansas’ ongoing “Toward Zero Deaths” campaign to eliminate preventable traffic deaths can be found at www.TZDarkansas.org
There are many ways to celebrate our country’s birthday on July 4th. Don’t make drinking and driving one of them.
Please have a wonderful, safe and happy 4th of July!
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Source: Arkansas State Police