With the Independence Day holiday approaching, the Arkansas State Police has announced its “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative to ensure Arkansans have a safe time of celebration.
“As Arkansans prepare for the approaching July 4th Independence Day holiday weekend, many families will include plans to travel across the state for cookouts and the customary summer festivities,” the ASP said in a press release. “However, experience and records tell us, some drivers and their passengers won’t make it to their destinations or return home. Drunk or impaired driving will be to blame.”
Law enforcement officers across the state will participate in the statewide initiative. The mission is devoted to stopping drunk drivers before tragedy occurs. The ASP along with city officers and county deputies will increase their patrols along roads and highways and will enforce a zero tolerance policy for those who drive impaired. Drivers should expect to see sobriety check points and saturation patrols involving a unified police force.
“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,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Make no mistake, if you’re caught drinking and driving, you will be arrested.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accounted for 29 percent (10,511) of the total motor vehicle traffic deaths during 2018. Additionally, drunk driving can be attributed to 40 percent (78) of the 193 traffic fatalities over the July 4th (2018) holiday period.
The ASP Highway Safety Office has also issued a number of reminders to those who choose to consume alcohol.
• Plan a safe way home before you leave. 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.
• If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi or someone who is sober to drive you home.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 9-1-1.
• If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help make other arrangements to get the person safely to their destination.
• Always buckle up. Your seat belt is the best defense against a 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.