The Woodward News

Local News

August 24, 2012

OHP on look out for drunk drivers this Labor Day

Woodward, Okla. — This Labor Day the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reminds motorists to "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."

"We're joining with law enforcement throughout the nation to stage this crackdown on drinking and impaired driving," said Trooper Steve Nightengale, area OHP liaison with the Oklahoma Highway Traffic Safety Office.

The "Drive Sober" campaign will be in effect through Sept. 3.

"The effort will include high-visibility enforcement and is being supported by a national paid advertising campaign to curb alcohol-impaired driving through the Labor Day weekend," Nightengale said.

NOWHERE IS EXEMPT

Nightengale said it is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

"But even with his law in place, more than 10,000 car or motorcycle drivers died in crashes in which that person was impaired by alcohol," he said. "That was in 2010, the latest year for which figures are available."

The trooper said there have been research results produced that show enforcement campaigns, like the one currently under way, may reduce alcohol-related deaths by as much as 20 percent.

"This whole deal is about saving lives," he said.

LOCAL, STATE RESULTS FROM LAST YEAR

In 2011, Nightengale said Woodward Police arrested 4 suspected intoxicated drivers during "Get Sober or Get Pulled Over" week. He staid statewide, troopers took 315 drivers to jail on suspicion that they were intoxicated.

"Some 231 Oklahoma law enforcement agencies combined to make 1,152 vehicle stops when investigating possible intoxicated driving last year," he said. "If someone does choose to drive impaired, we will arrest them. No warnings. No excuses."

He said that in the more metropolitan counties, which have numerous officers to help make it possible, motorists should expect to find DWI checkpoints in operation at various times and locations during the special enforcement week.

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