Police cracking down on drunk driving

Sept. 4, 2011 at 5:54 PM
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MATTESON, Ill., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Americans celebrating Labor Day or any holiday are reminded by government officials that more than one-quarter of traffic deaths involve alcohol.

Michael Witter, Midwest regional administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says through the holiday weekend more than 10,000 law enforcement agencies are participating in the nationwide crackdown of impaired driving.

"Nearly one-third of fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involve a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of .08," Witter says in a statement. "All too often, innocent, law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this careless disregard for human life."

Witter encourages motorists to plan ahead when drinking is involved and to:

-- Plan a safe way home before the festivities.

-- Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.

-- If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member.

"Our message is simple and unwavering. If we find you driving impaired, we will arrest you. No exceptions," Witter says.

"Even if you beat the odds and walk away from an impaired-driving crash alive, you should be aware that the consequences of driving while impaired can still virtually destroy your life. The trauma and financial costs associated with the involvement in a fatal crash can change your life forever."

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