Drive sober or get pulled over

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The end of summer is traditionally make by the Labor Day holiday, a time for our country to reflect on the hard work of our fellow Americans. The long weekend is typically celebrated through picnics, pool parties and barbecues, as families and friends enjoy the last few days of summer before fall and winter approach. Sadly, the Labor Day holiday is also one of the deadliest, with impaired drivers endangering themselves and others on America’s roadways. This year, the Calera Police Department is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to stop impaired drivers and help save lives.

The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from Aug. 16 through Sept. 4, 2017. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for impaired 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 impaired driving on our nation’s roadways.

Statistics show a frightening trend in impaired driving. According to the NFTSA, 10,265 people were killed in impaired-driving crashes in 2015, an increase from the 9,967 people killed in 2014. On average, 10,000 people nationwide were killed each year from 2011-2015 – one person killed every 51 minutes in 2015. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. This is why the Calera Police Department is working with the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office to remind drivers that drunk and drugged driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to Labor Day festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Over the Labor Day holiday period in 2016, 10 people were killed in nine fatal crashes in Oklahoma. Nationwide, 40 percent of the fatal Labor Day crashes involved drivers who had been drinking. Of those alcohol-related crashes, one-third involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC). Nighttime is the most dangerous time to be out on the roads.

“We’re stressing the dangers of driving impaired to our community,” Calera Police Chief Donnie Hyde said. “Impaired driving is a massive problem in Oklahoma, with more than 10,000 people dying annually. If you’re out on the roads and you see someone driving drunk, please call us. You could help save a life.”

The Calera Police Department and Oklahoma High Safety Office are reminding citizens of the many resources available to get them home safely.

“Impaired driving is not acceptable behavior,” Hyde said. “It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. That’s why, during the Labor Day holiday, we will make zero exceptions for drunk driving. There are just no excuses.”

The Calera Police Department recommends safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

• Remember that it is never OK to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home.

• Download the NFTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices.

• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the Calera Police Department.

• If you have a friend who is about to drink and drive, take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

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