The Labor Day holiday is often a special time for family and friends to enjoy the final days of summer. Unfortunately, the holiday has become synonymous with a noted increase in impaired driving and alcohol related fatalities.
The Arkansas State Police has announced its plans to again participate in the national campaign, You Drink & Drive -- You Lose, scheduled to run 16 days, beginning Aug. 27.
Along with the Arkansas State Police, local law enforcement departments in more than 140 jurisdictions across the state have committed to make the necessary arrests to remove the impaired drivers from Arkansas roadways.
At any given time during the three-week special enforcement operation, local police officers and sheriff's deputies may be working independently or in unison with state troopers. In addition to the routine law enforcement presence on Arkansas roadways, sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and undercover officers will be used to identify and arrest impaired drivers.
"In the coming days, the driver who may be impaired by drugs or alcohol runs a substantially higher risk of arrest," Col. Steve Dozier, director of the Arkansas State Police, said. "I should also remind drivers who might choose to refuse a sobriety test that they may lose their license on the spot and have their vehicle impounded. I don't want anyone to spend their holiday in jail, but we must ensure the safety of those drivers and their passengers who obey the laws," he stated.
The You Drink & Drive -- You Lose campaign began in 1999 and combines highly visible law enforcement with a national advertising campaign. Advertising during the crackdown highlights the enforcement component that impaired driving laws will be strictly enforced during special operation period.
Law enforcement officers remind the public of the following:
* Choose a designated driver before going out.
* Take mass transit, a taxicab, or ask a sober friend to drive.
* Spend the night where the activity is held.
* Report impaired drivers to law enforcement.
* Always buckle up.
For more information about the special enforcement operation or alcohol-related crash statistics, visit the Web site www.StopImpaired Driving.org.