Intoxicated drivers beware. Conway police officers are joining with law enforcement agencies throughout the nation for the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign happening now through Sept. 3.
The strong nationwide impaired driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb alcohol impaired driving in August and through the Labor Day holiday weekend.
The department’s patrol division will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.
It is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter. Despite these laws, in 2010 more than 10,000 people died in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was impaired.
"The statistics are staggering; on average there is one alcohol related driving-related fatality every 51 minutes across America, but this can be prevented if we get impaired drivers off our streets," said CPD Sgt. Ben Lackey. "Research shows these enforcement efforts help reduces alcohol-related driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent."
During the Labor Day weekend in 2010, 147 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers or motorcycle riders with BACs of .08 or higher. Of those fatalities, 80 percent occurred from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.
Among 18- to 34-year-old drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the 2010 Labor Day weekend, 54 percent were under the influence of alcohol. "We want to remind everyone that it is illegal to drive impaired. This campaign is not a means of "picking on" drivers but a way of reminding people that if they plan on drinking, don’t get behind the wheel.
"If someone does choose to drive impaired, we will arrest them. No warnings, no excuses," said Lackey.
Violators face jail time, loss of their driver’s licenses, and steep financial consequences including higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job.
"Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk., so don’t take the chance," Lackey said. "Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so drive sober or get pulled over."
For more information on the campaign, visit www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.