Massive Law Enforcement Crackdown Targets Holiday Drunk Drivers

Thousands of law enforcement agencies in all 50 states hit the roads this week to stop drunk drivers during the dangerous holiday season. Every state in the nation is geared up 24-7 for the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. campaign, letting the public know: If you drive drunk, you will be arrested.

The massive holiday crackdown intends to deter drunk driving and reduce the fatalities and injuries it causes. Between last year's Thanksgiving and New Year's holidays, 1,293 people were killed in crashes involving drivers or motorcycle operators with an illegal blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

This $8-million national TV and radio ad campaign, placed with congressional funding by the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration involves stepped-up, high-visibility law enforcement, using saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints to help protect the millions of Americans traveling from now through the New Year's holiday.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) strongly support these efforts as essential to protecting the public from drunk driving, including the more than two million drunk drivers with three or more convictions and the more than 400,000 with five or more convictions.

"Beginning with increased efforts by law enforcement, MADD looks forward to eventually eliminating this violent crime altogether," said MADD National President Laura Dean-Mooney, whose 32-year-old husband, Mike Dean, was killed by a drunk driver 17 years ago. MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving calls for increased law enforcement efforts, mandated alcohol ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, the exploration and development of advanced technologies to prevent drunk drivers from operating vehicles and grassroots support for the Campaign.

"Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. isn't just a slogan, but a reflection of states' increasing intolerance of drunk driving," said GHSA Chairman Vernon F. Betkey, Jr. "No more excuses or exceptions. States are funding overtime enforcement, drunk driving checkpoints and saturation patrols to keep the roads safe during the holidays."

"We know that enhanced patrols and other law enforcement efforts help reduce drunk driving and the needless deaths and injuries that result from it," said IACP President Russell B. Laine, Chief of Police for the Algonquin, Illinois Police Department since 1985. "Law enforcement officers will be out in full force this holiday season to crack down on drunk drivers, get them off our nation's roads, behind bars, and make our highways safer."

A detailed listing of state activities during the holiday crackdown is available at http://www.ghsa.org/html/projects/OTLUA/holiday08.html.

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