Law enforcement agencies around Faulkner County and throughout the state recently began their annual "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." winter holiday crackdown.
The national enforcement crackdown began Dec. 15 and will continue through Jan. 3.
Several states have enacted a "No Refusal" strategy in an attempt to thwart drunk driving.
Through the "No Refusal" plan, officers are able to quickly obtain warrants from "on call" judges in order to take blood samples from suspected drunk drivers who refuse a breathalyzer test.
According to Lt. Laura Taylor with the Conway Police Department, Arkansas law enforcement agencies are not employing the "No Refusal" strategy at this time.
In 2005, there was a 16 percent breath test refusal rate among drivers in Arkansas, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The latest NHTSA data shows that states that have adopted the "No Refusal" program report more guilty pleas, fewer trials and more convictions.
In 2009, 168 of the 585 traffic fatalities in Arkansas were due to alcohol-impaired driving. It is illegal in the state of Arkansas to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
For more information on the holiday drunk driving crackdown or to view data on impaired driving fatalities, visit www.NHTSA.gov.
(Staff writer Stephanie Fischer can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1238. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)