As Labor Day approaches, law enforcement agencies across Arkansas are teaming up to combat drunk driving.
Arkansas state troopers, sheriff’s deputies and city police officers will be gearing up for their “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” operation to protect the roads from drunk drivers. The government-funded program will extend through September 6.
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is an initiative by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to mobilize law enforcement to stop drunk drivers and deter people from hitting the roads while impaired.
According to the NHTSA, in 2019, 10,142 deaths occurred from highway crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers. Further, an average of 10,000 people were killed in drunk driving accidents each year from 2015 to 2019.
The statistics are sobering for many in law enforcement.
“The statistics left behind from these deaths each year represent thousands of sad and troubling stories from the families of each victim,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, director of the Arkansas State Police and Governor’s Highway Safety representative.
Bryant told the Texarkana Gazette that for the operation to be successful, the community has to work with law enforcement to stay off the roads when drinking.
“The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign is more than just a partnership among law enforcement to remove drunk drivers from the highway during the Labor Day holiday,” Bryant said. “We need the commitment from communities and citizens to work with law enforcement every day and help keep the streets and highways safe for everyone.”