As millions of Americans hit the highways for one last summertime getaway, law enforcement officers across the country are preparing to join in a concerted enforcement crackdown known as, Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.
Through tomorrow, local and state law enforcement officers in Arkansas are joining in the Labor Day holiday enforcement campaign which combines high-visibility law enforcement presence on the highways with heightened public awareness to help save lives and prevent injuries.
Impaired driving is one of America's most often committed and deadliest crimes.
Overall in 2006, more than 15,000 people died in highway crashes involving a driver with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
Last year in Arkansas, there were seven traffic fatalities during the four day Labor Day reporting period.
Two of the crashes were alcohol related and involved drivers with alcohol concentrations nearly twice the legal limit.
Motorcycle riding is increasing in popularity.
The total number of motorcycle related fatalities in Arkansas has almost quadrupled over the past ten years.
These fatalities presently account for thirteen percent of Arkansas's total traffic deaths.
Thirty-seven percent of the 72 motorcycle operators who died in Arkansas highway crashes during 2005 had blood alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher.
The blood-alcohol concentration level of .08 is the illegal level in all 50 states.
It is a concentration level at which risk of a fatal crash increases significantly.
At that point, all of the critical driving skills, braking, directional control, and time-distance judgment, are impacted by the alcohol consumption.
According to MADD, the risk of a driver dying in a crash with a blood-alcohol level of .08 is at least 11 times that of drivers without alcohol.
Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
If you're impaired, call a taxi, or a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
Report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement.
Wearing your safety belt while in a car or using protective gear when on a motorcycle is your best defense against an impaired driver.
If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely.