02/26/2020

Press Release: 2020 DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER

2020 DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER

St. Patrick's ENFORCEMENT CAMPAIGN

Stay Safe This St. Patrick's Day Spread the Word: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

During the 2020 St. Patrick's Day week, The Vernon County Sheriff's Office will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives. The high visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from March 13 through March 18, 2020. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation's roadways.

Sadly, the statistics prove that we have a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,874 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2017 and in 2018, there were 10,511 people killed. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2013 to 2017-one person was killed in drunk driving crashes every 48 minutes in 2017. That's the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. The Vernon County Sheriff's Office is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to St. Patrick's Day festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

It's unfortunate, but St. Patrick's Day does see a spike of drunk driving every year. Between 2012 to 2016 during the St. Patrick's Day holiday period, there were 269 fatalities due to drunk driving crashes. In 2016 alone, 60 people were killed in drunk driving crashes over the holiday period, which amounts to 39 percent of crash fatalities overall. And 75 percent of fatal St. Patrick's Day car crashes involve a driver with a BAC that's twice the legal limit.

Drunk driving isn't the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem on our nation's roads. If drivers are impaired by any substance-alcohol or drugs- they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Driving while impaired is illegal, period. The bottom line is this: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High Get a DUI. It's that simple.

"St. Patrick's Day should be a time for friends and family to come together to enjoy the beginning of Spring," said Sheriff Mosher. "We need commitment from our community members that they'll keep the streets free of drunk drivers so that everyone can have a safe holiday. This is a campaign to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal, and it takes lives. Help us put an end to this senseless behavior," he said.

The Vernon County Sheriff's Office and NHTSA are reminding citizens of the many resources available to get them home safely. "Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior," said Sheriff Mosher. "It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. That's why, during the St. Patrick's Day week, we will make zero exceptions for drunk driving. There are just no excuses," he said.

The Vernon County Sheriff's Office recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • 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 sharing service to get home safely. • Download NHTSA's SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and Apple's iTunes Store for iOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend and identifies the user's location so he or she can be picked up.
  • Use your community's sober ride program.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the Vernon County Sheriff's Office at 417-667-6042.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

 

For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.

 
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