Local police will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide Youth Alcohol Enforcement “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunk driving. The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout St. Clair County, will run from May 1 – May 12.
The effective nationwide drunk driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb drunk driving during the campaign.
St. Clair County Sheriff Scott Keeler said deputies will be aggressively looking for drunk drivers during the crackdown. Although it is illegal to drive drunk far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation’s continuing drunk driving epidemic.
Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more impaired drivers or motorcycle operators. There were 191 people killed and 640 seriously injured in 2014 Missouri traffic crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver by either alcohol and/or drugs.
The Youth Alcohol Enforcement is particularly dangerous. During the Youth Alcohol Enforcement six people were killed and 29 seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver (alcohol and/or drugs). A substance impaired driver less than 21 years of age was involved in two of the serious injuries.DWI arrests were made statewide.
“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. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make St. Clair County roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday,” said the sheriff. “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 you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you do chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses,”
The sheriff noted that being arrested for driving drunk brings a wide range of negative consequences into one’s life. Drunk drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.
“Driving drunk is simply not worth the risk. So don’t take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,’” said Sheriff Keeler.