This Labor Day, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
The end of summer is traditionally marked 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 Yukon 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 August 16 through September 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 NHTSA, 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 to 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 Yukon Police Department is working with 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 9 fatal crashes in Oklahoma. Nationwide, forty percent of the fatal Labor Day crashes involved drivers who had been drinking. Of those alcohol-related fatal crashes, one third (33%) 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,” said Lieutenant Michael Walker, of the Yukon Police Department. “Impaired driving is a massive problem in the 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,” he said.
Yukon Police and the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office are reminding citizens of the many resources available to get them home safely. “Impaired driving is not acceptable behavior,” said Walker. “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. Our Officers will work overtime shifts for the weekends on and around Labor Day. The purpose of these overtime shifts is solely to target DUI's. We will be out in full force doing our part,” he said.
The Yukon Police Department recommends safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
- Remember that it is never okay 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 safely.
- Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
- Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.
The Yukon Police Department is one of Yukon’s best departments. Optimism, energy and opportunity inspire the best in everything we do. To learn more about Yukon’s best, visit www.yukonok.gov or call 405-354-2553.