Law enforcement operation cracking down on impaired driving

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – Arkansas State Troopers and other law enforcement agencies across the state will be laboring to keep motorists safe ahead of the coming holiday.

Beginning Friday, Aug. 18, law enforcement officers across the country will step up patrols ahead of the Labor Day holiday.

Their goal, according to Monday’s news release from Arkansas State Police, is to stop impaired driving.

“Increased patrols are part of an awareness effort to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal, and it can be deadly,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety representative.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Safety Administration, more than 11,654 people died in 2020 in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. That’s one person killed every 45 minutes.

“We want Arkansans to understand it’s our first priority to keep people safe,” said Bryant.  “No one gets a free pass; drunk drivers go to jail.”

The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recommends these alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation.  Consider a ride service to get home safely.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 9-1-1.
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.
  • Always buckle up.  A seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver.

“It’s a partnership between law enforcement and drivers,” Bryant concluded. “Help us protect all roadway users and put an end to this senseless behavior.”

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