ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS UNIFIED MESSAGE FOR JULY 4th DRIVERS: DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER

JUNE 27, 2017

   (LITTLE ROCK) – The celebration of our nation’s birthday during the coming week will lead thousands of families onto the state highways and local streets.  Their travels will take them to cookouts, family reunions, picnics and other summer festivities.

   Inevitably some won’t return home.  The bad choices that lead to drinking and driving will end with injury, death and lasting consequences inflicted on many innocent families.

   During the Fourth of July holiday period, beginning Friday, June 30 and continuing through Tuesday, July 4, Arkansas law enforcement officers will participate in the statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over operation.

   Stepped-up patrols among state, county and city law enforcement agencies will have officers on the lookout for drunk drivers.  Motorists should expect to see more sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols involving a unified police force working to keep the highways and streets safe.

   “If you choose to drink and drive the chances are greater that you will be caught during the upcoming holiday,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.  “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.”

   Statistics show that drunk driving is a deadly epidemic in our nation.  During 2015 there were more than 10,250 people killed in alcohol related crashes.  These deaths accounted for almost a third of nationwide traffic fatalities nationwide.

   It is illegal in every state to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher, yet people continue to break the law and drive drunk.

  The consequences of a DWI arrest are staggering.  On average the cumulative costs can range upwards of $10,000 or more.  Drunk drivers who are arrested face jail time, vehicle towing and impoundment fees, attorney fees, court costs and fines, and lost wages from employment.  A conviction routinely leads to the loss of a driver license and higher vehicle insurance costs once driving privileges are restored.

  The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving.  There are plenty of safe ways for you to get to your destination if you plan on drinking alcohol.  The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recommends these alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • 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. Plan a safe way home before you leave.
  • If you’ve have been drinking, call a taxi or someone who is sober to get you home.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.
  • Buckle up, always.  Your seat belt is your best defense against the 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