Heads up to holiday party-goers!
To help save lives this holiday season, law enforcement from 18 agencies in Kings and Tulare Counties are launching a special “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown to stop impaired drivers and to save lives on our roadways.
The Tulare/Kings Counties DUI Avoid the 18 Task Force is announcing that officers and deputies will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers and will arrest anyone caught driving under the influence. Enforcement efforts will include: DUI/Driver‟s License Checkpoints, DUI saturation patrols, a Multi-Agency DUI Taskforce patrol, and DUI Warrant/Probations sweeps.
The CHP will deploy all available officers during New Year’s weekend. The special enforcement crackdown began Dec.14, 2012 and runs through January 1, 2013.
“Lots of folks will be out during this busy holiday season, enjoying themselves and the holiday festivities, and we want everyone to be safe on our roadways.” said Sergeant Chris McLain, Visalia Police Department.
“That‟s why we will be stepping up enforcement to catch and arrest impaired drivers. Please be forewarned. If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses.”
During 2010, more than 10,000 people were killed nationwide in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving an impaired driver and in Californian 791 people died on our state‟s streets and highways.
There were 36 individuals killed in Tulare and Kings Counties that year.
The holiday season is a particularly dangerous time. During December 2010, 30% of all fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crash involved alcohol-impaired drivers. Data also shows that among those alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities, 71% occurred when drivers had nearly twice the legal limit blood alcohol concentration of .15 % BAC or higher.
“No one ever thinks that their holiday celebration will end in jail, or worse, in a hospital or the morgue,” said Sergeant Chris McLain. “But for those who include alcohol in their celebrations and then get behind the wheel, this is too often the case.”
Violators face jail time, loss of driver license, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job.
The Avoid the 18 Coalition said there are three simple steps people can take to stay safe and out of trouble:
1. Plan ahead. If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Designate a sober driver or find another safe way home. Even one too many drinks increases the risk of a crash while driving a motor vehicle.
2. If you are impaired, find another way home. Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
3. Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, Report Them – Call 911! Your actions may save someone‟s life, and inaction could cost a life.
“We want everyone to enjoy their holidays, but we also want our roadways to be safe,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “Police, Sheriffs and the CHP will be out in force to help save lives, and they are not going to tolerate impaired driving. So remember, „Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.‟ They will be watching.”
The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown is led by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and NHTSA, with the California Avoid DUI Task Force Campaign combining high-visibility enforcement and heightened public awareness through publicity. The program is funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety.
Avoid the 18 in Woodlake
During a press conference on Dec. 12, the AVOID the 18 DUI Task Force, comprised of 11 law enforcement agencies in Tulare and Kings Counties, announced there will be a DUI Saturation Patrol in the City of Woodlake from 9 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31 through 3 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1. The will also be patrols in surrounding cities such as Visalia, Hanford and Corcoran.