Lawrence County Sheriff's Office to conduct crackdown

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Holiday drunk driving campaign underway

Local Lawrence County deputies will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide Fourth of July weekend "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" crackdown on drunk driving.

The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement through Lawrence County, will run through July 6.

The crackdown will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb drunk driving over the Fourth of July weekend holiday.

Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay said deputies will be aggressively looking for drunk drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving drunk.

Latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation's drunk driving epidemic.

"Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more impaired drivers or motorcycle operators," DeLay said. "In 2013, 223 people were killed and 692 seriously injured on Missouri's roadways in accidents that involved at least one substance-impaired driver."

DeLay added the Fourth of July Weekend holiday is particularly dangerous.

"During the Fourth of July holiday in 2013, 243 DWI arrests were made statewide," he said. "Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. ...

"We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel drunk is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does drinking impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive. If anyone has any doubt about their sobriety, they should not get behind the wheel. If they chose to drive impaired, they will be arrested.

"No warnings. No excuses."

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