For the Next 2 Weeks, US Drunk Drivers Have Nowhere to Hide

drive-sober-or-get-pulled-overPerhaps we’re exaggerating. Some drunk drivers might slip by, but it’s going to be pretty hard. All over the country, police forces have started their annual crackdown on drunk driving. Called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, the campaign has been adopted by municipal and state traffic law enforcement agencies everywhere in the US.

The campaign is running now, and it goes until Labor Day. The last weeks of August are traditionally bad times for drunk driving. The police will be aware of that.

Alcohol-related crashes take about ten thousand lives a year, and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is not comfortable with that figure. That is why the agency promotes the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign each year as a way not just to bag drunk drivers but also to raise awareness of the dangers of this preventable crime.

Here’s what we can all expect from police agencies everywhere in the US:

  • Zero tolerance for drunk driving. No warnings, no slaps on the wrist. Expect handcuffs, jail, fines, ignition interlocks and everything that goes with a DUI
  • Increased enforcement. Patrols will be beefed up. More officers than ever will be out on the streets and roads, looking for the signs that betray the presence of a drunk driver.
  • Getting the message out. Police presence will be more visible, and in many communities law enforcement will also be using other communication methods to popularize the idea of planning a night out and getting home safely. Look for displays, brochures, social media announcements, and ads everywhere with the message – drive drunk and you’ll pay the price.

If you’re planning a party or celebration in the next couple of weeks, please do the right thing and plan your ride home, whether through a taxi, rideshare, designated driver, public transport or by foot.

And if you’re driving in these next few weeks, please be aware. More drunk drivers will be out there, and the police can’t catch every one.

But they’ll be trying.