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Law enforcement to heighten traffic enforcement Labor Day

Published: Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 11:49 a.m. CDT

DES MOINES — From late-August through Labor Day, city, county and state police will be out in force as part of the annual nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunk driving. The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Iowa, will run Aug. 26 through Sept. 8.

The nationwide drunk driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement and be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb drunk driving in August and through the Labor Day holiday weekend. Iowa ranks second as having the lowest number of alcohol-related fatalities in the nation.

While it is illegal to drive drunk (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher) in all 50 states, 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 drunk drivers or motorcycle operators,” said Colonel David Garrison – chief of the Iowa State Patrol. “In 2011, 9,878 people died across the nation in crashes involving drunk drivers. That is approximately one drunken driving fatality every 53 minutes.”

During last year’s Labor Day holiday, there were no reported alcohol-related fatalities, however, there were four fatalities.

“Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign reduces drunken driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Iowa’s roadways safer for everyone throughout the Labor Day period,” said Garrison. “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.’”

For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign headquarters at www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact Randy Hunefeld, sTEP coordinator, Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, at (515) 725-6124 or hunefeld@dps.state.ia.us.

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