From the Harford County Sheriff’s Office:
August 27, 2013 [Harford County, Maryland] – The Harford County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a sobriety checkpoint this Labor Day weekend. The checkpoint, part of the continued crack down on drunk driving, will take place during the late evening hours of Saturday Aug. 31 and continue into the early morning hours of Sept. 1.
The Sheriff’s Office is a participant in the annual nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” drunk driving enforcement efforts. Deputies will be aggressively looking for drunk drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving drunk.
“Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more drunk drivers or motorcycle operators,” said Sheriff L. Jesse Bane. “In 2011 9,878 people died in crashes involving drunk drivers. That works out to approximately one drunk driving fatality every 53 minutes.” Bane also added that holidays such as the Labor Day holiday are particularly dangerous. During the Labor Day weekend in 2011, 138 people were killed nationwide in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers or motorcycle riders with BACs of .08 or higher. Of those fatalities, 83 percent occurred during early evening and overnight hours.
Sheriff’s deputies have made 162 drunk driving arrests thus far in 2013. Drunk driving takes a particularly heavy toll among young drivers. Among 18- to 34-year-old drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the 2011 Labor Day weekend, 42 percent were alcohol-impaired. “Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign reduces drunk-fatalities by as much 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Harford County roadways safer for everyone throughout period,” said Sheriff.
Bane noted that being arrested for driving drunk brings a wide range of negative consequences into one’s life. Drunk drivers face jail time, loss of their driver’s licenses, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney’s fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.
Some simple tips to help motorists and passengers keep safe this Labor Day holiday period—and all year long – include:
- Plan a safe way home before you start the Labor Day festivities;
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
- If you’re drunk, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement immediately;
- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while drunk, be a friend and take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
“Driving drunk is simply not worth the risk. So don’t take the chance. Make smart choices and don’t drive drunk or under the influence. We will be out in force and we will be watching, so ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,’” said Sheriff Bane.
For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Headquarters at www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.