By Wayne Allen
The Portsmouth Police Department (PPD) is taking part in a national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, aimed at cracking down on drunk driving.
Rob Ware, chief of the PPD, said the 20-day, high-visibility campaign is a partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to curb impaired driving and save lives. The campaign will run Aug. 21 through Sept. 7. The campaign is anticipated to include increased state and national messaging, centered on the dangers of drunk driving. There will also be checkpoints and an increase of officers on the roads.
“When you consume too much alcohol and get behind the wheel of an automobile, it’s not just your safety you are endangering; it’s your passengers, friends, neighbors and their families that you put at risk. Poor decisions can have lasting implications. Don’t think it won’t happen to you,” Ware said.
According to the NHTSA, of the 10,076 people who were killed in impaired-driving crashes in 2013, 65 percent were the drunk drivers themselves. Those 6,515 drunk drivers planned on making it to their destinations, but they didn’t.
A smart phone app has been developed, called SaferRide, to help users call a taxi or a friend for a ride home. The app is also capable of identifying where the user is, to make for a quicker pick up.
“In every state, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Level) of .08 or higher. I want to remind Portsmouth area drivers that it’s not a recommendation; it’s the law. During the enforcement period starting August 21, expect to see an emphasis on drunk-driving enforcement. There will be increased patrols, DUI checkpoints, and increased messaging about this reckless, preventable crime,” Ware said. “One impaired driver is one too many. Together we can prevent the needless loss of life, permanent disfigurement and needless financial impact of impaired driving.”
For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign visit www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT