Labor Day weekend is coming up. For many Americans, that means an extra day off, backyard and beach barbecues, and visiting friends and family. Unfortunately, it also means a sharp increase in drunk-driving related fatalities. So starting Aug. 15 and continuing through Sept. 1, local police will be aggressively targeting drunk drivers as part of a nationwide effort to end drunk driving and save lives. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will pair increased public awareness with high-visibility enforcement, resulting in fewer drunk drivers on Hawk Point roads.
In 2012, there were 10,322 people killed in drunk-driving crashes in the United States. Over Labor Day weekend (6 p.m. Friday to 5:59 a.m. Tuesday) that year, more than a third (38 percentage) of all the traffic fatalities were in drunk-driving crashes.
“It’s tragic how many people lose their lives to drunk driving,” said Chief Robert J. Bone.
For the third year in a row, Hawk Point Police Department will be joining the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign and will arrest anyone caught driving drunk. No tolerance, no excuses.
Over the Labor Day weekend in 2012, there were 147 people killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes across the country. And here’s a staggering statistic: out of all the crash fatalities that weekend, one in four (25 percent) were attributed to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher – almost twice the legal limit in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Every 51 minutes, someone is killed in a drunk-driving crash. Over the Labor Day weekend, those fatalities increase to one every 34 minutes. Nighttime is especially dangerous.
Young drivers are overrepresented in drunk-driving crashes, too. Among young drivers – between the ages of 18 – 34 killed in motor vehicle crashes during the 2012 Labor Day weekend, almost half (48 percent) had a BAC of .08 or higher, the legal limit in all states. For drivers under 21, anything above a BAC of .00 is illegal.
“Driving drunk is totally inexcusable,” said Chief Bone. “We’re hoping that Hawk Point drivers get the message and take some simple steps to prevent a tragedy. There’s always another way home.” Hawk Point Police Department is reminding drivers to plan ahead and designate a sober driver before attending any events where alcohol will be served. “Planning a sober ride home, whether it’s a friend, a taxi, or public transportation, is the right choice,” added Chief Bone.
This Labor Day weekend, don’t let the festivities turn into fatalities. Law enforcement is not messing around: if you’re caught driving drunk, you will be arrested. Remember that aside from the obvious risks of killing yourself or someone else, driving impaired can also lead to serious punitive consequences. A DUI arrest can mean time in jail, loss of your license, and steep financial expenses; the average DUI costs about $10,000.
For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.