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‘Drive sober’ program begins

Sheriff’s office to participate in national enforcement campaign

August 16, 2012
The Daily Freeman Journal

The Hamilton County?Sheriff's office is joining law enforcement throughout the nation for the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over"?campaign Friday through Sept. 3.

The nationwide imparied driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement and high-profile events to create a comprehensive campaign to curb alcohol-impaired driving in August and through Labor Day weekend.

Hamilton County Sheriff Denny Hagenson said his deputies 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 to law enforcement data.

"On the average, there is one alcohol impared driving-related fatality every 51 minutes across America. But this tragic loss of life can be reduced if we get impaired drivers off our roadways,"?said Hagenson. "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. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Hamilton County's roadways safer for everyone throughout the Labor Day period."

During the Labor Day weekend in 2010, 147 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers or motorcycle riders with blood alcohol concentrations 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 Labor Day weekend, 54 percent were alcohol-impaired, according to law enforcement data.

"Obviously, we want to remind everyone that it is illegal to drive impaired, and we hope the campaign will remind people that if they plan on drinking to never get behind the wheel,"?said Hagenson.

He said violators face jail time, loss of their drivers licenses, and steep financial consequences such as 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,"?he said.

"We'll be out in force and we will be watching, so 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,'"?Hagenson said.



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