Drunk-driving crackdown continues through holidays

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Saving lives this holiday season is the motivating force behind this latest effort to crack down on impaired drivers. The increased enforcement effort is being conducted in conjunction with the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit, Under Arrest, crackdown and will extend through Jan. 3. Nearly 1,200 agencies are participating in the crackdown. The initiative comes on the heels of a recent report that shows alcohol-related fatalities are on the decline.

“While we are happy to report that alcohol-impaired driving fatalities decreased dramatically in every Midwestern state last year, drunk driving is still one of Americans deadliest crimes,” said Michael Witter, Midwest regional administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The heightened enforcement effort against drunk drivers underscores the severity of the problem both locally and across the nation.

Witter recommends designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk as just two of several simple steps to avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other important tips include:

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Plan ahead. Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.

 If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.

 Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement,

 Wear your seat belt. This is your best defense against an impaired driver.