National crackdown aims to reduce impaired driving fatalities

  • Published
  • By by 940th Wing Safety Office
If you drink and drive, beware! Law enforcement agencies throughout the nation are launching the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign Aug.17 - Sept. 3, 2012.

The nationwide impaired driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement and high-profile events and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb alcohol-impaired driving through the Labor Day holiday weekend. Local and state law enforcement 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.

"According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on average there's one alcohol impaired driving-related fatality every 51 minutes across America," said Lt. Col. Lewis Harding, 940th Wing Safety Officer. "Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign reduces alcohol-impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent and that's why the NHTSA sponsors these campaigns."

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 alcohol-impaired.

"Obviously we want to remind everyone that it is illegal to drive impaired, and we hope awareness of this nation-wide campaign will remind people who plan on drinking to never get behind the wheel; driving impaired is simply not worth the risk. Don't take that chance. Remember, law enforcement will be out in force over the next few weeks," said Harding.

For more information, visit the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Campaign Headquarters at