Northwest Iowa — Police departments, sheriff’s offices and State Troopers in Northwest Iowa will be out in force for Labor Day weekend. In fact, a special Traffic Enforcement Project is already underway.
It’s part of the annual nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunk driving. The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Iowa, is in effect now through September 8, 2013.
The Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau says the “effective” nationwide drunk driving crackdown includes high-visibility enforcement and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb drunk driving through the Labor Day holiday weekend. Iowa ranks 2nd as having the lowest number of alcohol related fatalities in the nation.
We talked with Iowa State Patrol Safety Officer Vince Kurtz. He tells us about their efforts.
He says the officers will be out for a good reason.
Again, the effort is already underway, and it continues well past Labor Day — until Sunday, September 8.
More information and commentary from the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau:
While it is illegal to drive drunk (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher) in all 50 states, far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation’s continuing drunk driving epidemic.
“Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more drunk drivers or motorcycle operators,” said Colonel David Garrison – Chief of the Iowa State Patrol. “In 2011 9,878 people died across the nation in crashes involving drunk drivers. That is approximately one drunken driving fatality every 53 minutes.” During last year’s Labor Day Holiday, there were no reported alcohol related fatalities, however there were 4 fatalities.
“Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign reduces drunken driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Iowa’s roadways safer for everyone throughout the Labor Day period,” said Colonel Garrison.
“Driving drunk is simply not worth the risk. So don’t take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,’ said Colonel Garrison.
For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign headquarters at www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.