Last updated: August 06. 2014 9:30AM - 310 Views

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It’s time to get serious about enforcement with the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. This year’s high-visibility crackdown will run Aug. 15 through Labor Day (Sept. 1).

This time period is targeted because holiday weekends reportedly bring a surge in drunk-driving. In 2012, 147 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes over Labor Day weekend (6 p.m. Friday-5:59 a.m. Tuesday).

One of the deadliest and most often committed of crimes is drunk driving. Although preventable, it has become a serious safety epidemic in this country. Officials said increasing state and local enforcement efforts, raising public awareness, education and social media use can make a marked difference to save more lives on roadways while reducing the number of alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Durant Police Department and other law enforcement organizations of Bryan County are calling on everyone to help put an end to drunk driving. Patrolmen want drivers to know that drunk driving will not be tolerated. No excuses, no warnings. If drivers are caught driving impaired, they will be arrested.

More than 10,000 people are killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes every year in the United States, and one in three traffic fatalities in America are alcohol-related. Drivers continue to break the law by driving impaired, putting thousands of travelers at risk every day.

In the past, these Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaigns have resulted in a 20-percent decrease nationwide in alcohol-related crash fatalities. On average through Labor Day weekend 2012, one person dies every 34 minutes in a drunk-driving crash over the Labor Day period. That’s a lot of lives that could be saved.

Also through Labor Day weekend 2012, 390 people lost their lives in traffic crashes. Among drivers killed in traffic crashes during that period, about 41 percent of them were impaired. A staggering 25 percent of those involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or higher — almost double the legal limit in all states and Washington, D.C.

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