Top Stories June 30, 2017

Law Enforcement Reminds ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 

by Jackson Hole. Media

Law enforcement officers work to keep our communities’ safe every day. The decisions drivers make before getting behind the wheel affect law enforcement officers’ work, especially decisions to drive drunk. In 2015, 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving-related crashes. To put that into perspective, that’s one person killed every 51 minutes. It’s also the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing, with no survivors.

This Fourth of July, the Jackson Police Department will be out in full force, stopping drunk drivers and targeting those who put lives in danger. As you prepare to drive home from the festivities, keep in mind that even one drink can be one too many. This Fourth of July and every day, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

During the 2015 Fourth of July holiday period (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6), 92 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher, and 146 people died in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08. In fact, from 2011-2015, 39 percent of all traffic fatalities over the Fourth of July period occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.

“If you choose to head out to a Fourth of July party and make the terrible decision to drink and drive, don’t be mistaken—if you get caught, you will be arrested,” said Chief Todd Smith. “This is deadly, irresponsible behavior, and we will be out in full force to put a stop to it wherever we can. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled 

Over campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving. There are plenty of safe ways for you to get home after drinking alcohol. We will accept no excuses.”

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.

NHTSA data shows that young drivers (18 to 34 years old) are especially at risk of driving drunk. In fact, 49 percent of the drivers 18 to 34 years old who were killed over the July Fourth period in 2015 were driving drunk (BAC of .08 or higher). Motorcycle operators are also overrepresented as the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers in fatal crashes. In 2015, more than a third (36%) of motorcycle operators in fatal crashes had BACs of .08 or higher.

Not surprisingly, drunk driving is more common at night. Over the July Fourth holiday in 2015, nearly half (44%) of the drivers in nighttime (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) fatal crashes were alcohol-impaired, compared to 19 percent of drivers in fatal crashes during the day.

“This Fourth of July, don’t risk losing your life or your independence by drinking and driving. Help make everyone’s holiday in Jackson safer by driving sober,” said Mayor Pete Muldoon “Remember,” he warned, “there’s no excuse—Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

The Jackson Police Department 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 at http://www.wygcid.org/Smart_Phone_App.html

 If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact the Jackson Police Department.

 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: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and Apple’s ITunes Store for IOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). 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.

As of this release there have been 59 traffic deaths in Wyoming in 2017, compared to 37 this time last year.

For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov

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