The Greene County Safe Communities Coalition has joined nearly 10,000 other law enforcement agencies nationwide in support of an intensive crackdown on impaired driving August 19–September 5, known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
The problem of impaired driving is a serious one. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the number of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in America fell from 2008 to 2009, but the numbers are still too high.
In 2009 alone, 10,839 people died in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was at or above the legal limit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The age group with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes was the 21-to-24 age group.
“All too often, innocent, law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this careless disregard for human life. Because we’re committed to ending the carnage, we’re in full support of our local law enforcement agencies that are intensifying enforcement during the crackdown. Since twice as many alcohol-impaired accidents occur over the weekend and four times as many occur at night, our local law enforcement agencies will be especially vigilant during these high-risk times when impaired drivers are most likely to be on our roads,” said Laurie Fox, Safe Communities Coordinator.
Across the country, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher. According to the latest data, nearly a third of fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC above the legal limit – an average of one fatality every 48 minutes.
The crackdown will include law enforcement officers in every state, Washington, D.C., and many U.S. cities and towns.
The Greene County Safe Communities Coalition applauds our local officers, troopers and deputies for aggressively looking for all impaired drivers during the crackdown and arresting anyone they find driving while impaired — regardless of age, vehicle type or time of day.
“Their message is simple and unwavering: if they find you driving impaired, they will arrest you. No exceptions,” said Fox. “Even if you beat the odds and manage to walk away from an impaired-driving crash alive, the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can still destroy your life.”
According to the Ohio State Patrol, violators often face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Their insurance rates go up. Other financial hits include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation.
“Driving impaired is simply not worth all the consequences. So don’t take the chance. Remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” said Fox.
For more information, visit the High-Visibility Enforcement Campaign Headquarters at www.StopImpairedDriving.org.