Law enforcement agencies across Arkansas and the nation are prepared to launch a two-week long intensified enforcement plan aimed at drivers who choose to drive impaired. In advance of the holiday travel period state troopers, local police, and sheriff’s deputies want to remind drivers of their stepped-up patrols along U.S. and state highways, as well as local streets and county roads.
Beginning this Friday (December 18th) and continuing through January 1, 2021, motorists will witness an increased presence of state and local law enforcement whether they’re traveling across the state or across the country.
The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over operation incorporates public service advertising and messaging coupled with assurances from law enforcement officers of zero tolerance for drunk driving. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is intended to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.
A look back at national fatality statistics sadly tells the story of tragic consequences from 2018 when one person every 50 minutes lost their life as the result of a drunk-driving motor vehicle crash. Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that on average more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2014 through 2018 as the result of drunk driving related crashes.
“The Christmas and New Year’s holiday period should be an enjoyable time for our Arkansas families, not a marker of death for a loved one who was involved in a drunk driving crash,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.
“We need a commitment from everyone that they’ll drive sober so that everyone can have a safe holiday. This is a campaign to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal and it claims far too many lives,” Colonel Bryant stated.
The Arkansas Highway Safety Office and NHTSA wants to remind everyone of the many resources available and the precautions to take, ensuring that everyone gets home safely.
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact the nearest law enforcement agency. Your actions could help save someone’s life.
- Guard against allowing a friend who has been drinking to drive. Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
“Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior,” said Colonel Bill Bryant. “It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for your destination. That’s why, during the holiday season, we will make zero exceptions and arrest all drunk drivers. There are no excuses,” he said.
For more information about the 2020 Holiday Season Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDArkansas.org