The holidays are a time for celebration, visiting with loved ones, and reflecting on the year past and the year ahead. Yet all too often, the holiday spirit is destroyed by the recklessness of a drunk driver.
That’s why Hope Police Department is joining with highway safety partners and law enforcement organizations across the country this December to remind everyone that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving, and that drinking and driving don’t mix.
Increased saturation patrols will be part of the initiative designed to keep Arkansas roadways safe during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
The intensified enforcement effort directed toward drunk drivers underscores the severity of the problem, both locally and across the nation. During the calendar year 2014 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 9,967 deaths in motor vehicle crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Arkansas recorded 135 deaths as a result of alcohol-related crashes during the same reporting period.
“Drunk driving is a choice some people make that inevitably gets people hurt or killed,” said Assistant Chief Tomlin. “That’s why we’re joining in the nationwide campaign to share the message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
In addition to reminding all drivers to remain sober, Assistant Chief Tomlin is calling on everyone to be alert. “If you see a drunk driver on the road, pull over and call 911 right away and if someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely.”
The Arkansas Highway Safety Office offers the following tips for a safe holiday season:
- If you plan on drinking, do not drive. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before you get in the vehicle. Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for drunk driving, or worse, risk injury or death to someone in a crash.
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member to your destination safely.
- Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement.
- Always wear your seat belt equipment while on a motorcycle. These items are your best defense against an impaired driver.