This Labor Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
The end of summer is traditionally marked by the Labor Day holiday, a time for our country to reflect on the hard work of our fellow Americans. The long weekend is celebrated through picnics, pool parties, and barbecues, as families and friends enjoy the last few days of summer before fall and winter approach.
Sadly, the Labor Day holiday is also one of the deadliest, with drunk drivers endangering themselves and others on America’s roadways. This year, Fremont County Law Enforcement is out to stop drunk drivers and help save lives. The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from through Sept. 4, 2017.
During this period, Fremont County Law Enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.
Statistics show a startling trend in drunk-driving. According to NHTSA, 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2015, an increase from the 9,967-people killed in 2014. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2011 to 2015—one person killed every 51 minutes in 2015. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors.
This is why Fremont County Law Enforcement is working to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to Labor Day festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Over the Labor Day holiday period in 2015, there were 460 crash fatalities nationwide. Forty percent of those fatal crashes involved drivers who had been drinking (.01+ BAC). Of those alcohol-related fatal crashes, one third (33%) involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and nearly one-fourth (23%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the illegal limit (.15+ BAC).
Nighttime is the most dangerous time to be out on the roads: During the 2015 Labor Day holiday period, 78 percent of drunk-driving crash fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. – as compared to half of all drunk-driving crash fatalities throughout the rest of the year.
“We’re highlighting the dangers of driving impaired to our community,” said Sergeant John Zerga of the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office. “Drunk driving is a serious problem in Wyoming. In 2015, 56 (39%) of the 145 traffic fatalities in the state were from drivers with a BAC of .08 or greater. If you’re out on the roads and you see someone driving drunk, please call us. You could save a life,” Sergeant John Zerga said.
In Wyoming, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. If you kill someone while under the influence, you could be charged with aggravated vehicular homicide. Not only do you put your life and the lives of others at risk, but a DUI arrest means going to jail, losing your license, and paying steep financial costs.
Fremont County Law Enforcement recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving.
- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
- Designate a sober driver or call for a ride, taxi or rideshare.
- Download Drive Sober Wyoming mobile app
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact Law Enforcement.
- If you know people who are about to drive or ride after drinking, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
- Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices, and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
Along with this enhanced enforcement effort, the Wyoming Highway Patrol is urging drivers to help keep Wyoming’s roadways safe by calling the Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately (REDDI) hotline number at 1-800-442-9090 to report suspected drunk drivers. Callers should be prepared to provide the dispatcher with a description of the vehicle, its location, and direction of travel.
As of this release there have been 97 traffic deaths in Wyoming in 2017, compared to 80 this time last year