TEXARKANA — Law enforcement in Miller County is participating in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign to end drunk driving during the Fourth of July holiday.
The campaign seeks to protect the lives of residents in communities. As a result, there will be more enforcement on the roads with zero tolerance for drivers who are impaired.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 29% (10,511) of motor vehicle deaths in 2018 were due to drunk driving. In 2018 alone, 193 people died in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday period (6:00 p.m., July 3 to 5:59 a.m. July 5). 40% (78) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol impaired driving crashes. In 2017, the number was 38%.
“It’s a shame we have to keep repeating ourselves, but the message remains the same: Drunk driving is deadly and illegal, and it’s illegal in every state in this country,” Sheriff Jackie Runion said. “We want our community to stay safe, so make no mistake: If you are caught drinking and driving, you will be pulled over and arrested. Driving under the influence of any substance will land you a DUI.”
Sheriff Runion says that some drivers believe driving impaired is not that big of a deal, even though the consequences to drunk driving are grave.
Said Runion: “If we catch you driving under the influence of alcohol, we will arrest you, and you’ll receive a DUI. That DUI will follow you throughout your life. Under no circumstances is it ever acceptable to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you have been drinking. Doing so endangers you, your passengers, and everyone on the road with you. If you are heading to Fourth of July parties this summer, remember: drive sober or get pulled over.”
The Miller County Sheriff’s Office recommends celebrants who intend to drink have a designated driver or use a ride share or public transport service.
Drunk drivers should also be reported to authorities. Friends who intend to drive drunk should also have their keys taken away, the sheriff’s office says.