IThis Labor Day weekend, Decorah Police Department and the Winneshiek County Sheriff's Department will join other sworn officers from across the country in stepping up enforcement efforts and cracking down on those who elect to drive drunk or impaired. The problem of impaired-driving is a serious one. While America witnessed a decline in the number of impaired-driving fatalities from 2007-2008, the numbers are still too high. The crackdown on impaired driving, scheduled for August 24th–September 6th, is known by its tagline: Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.
In 2009 Iowa reported 372 fatalities, of which 92 were alcohol related. Nationally, in 2008 nearly 12,000 people died in crashes with a driver or motorcycle rider that was at or above the legal limit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The group with the highest percent of alcohol impaired drivers in fatal crashes is young people ages 21-24.
"All too often, innocent, law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this reckless disregard for human life. Because we're committed to ending the carnage, we're intensifying enforcement during the crackdown. We'll be especially vigilant during high-risk nighttime hours when impaired drivers are most likely to be on our roads," said Iowa sTEP Coordinator Randy Hunefeld.
In every state and the District of Columbia it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Approximately 10,000 enforcement agencies will participate in this year's mid-August through Labor Day crackdown, including law enforcement from every state, the District of Columbia, and thousands of U.S. cities and towns.
Violators often face jail time and the loss of their driver licenses or are sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Their insurance rates also go up. Other financial losses include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work and the potential loss of a job or job prospects. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation.
"Driving impaired is simply not worth all the consequences. So don't take the chance. Remember, if you are over the limit, you will be under arrest," said Hunefeld.
For more information, please visit www.iowagtsb.org and www.StopImpairedDriving.org or contact:
Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau
FAX: 515-725-6133 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org