CRIME

‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign launched

Charlotte Guedry

Law enforcement agencies from across the state are joining together throughout the holiday season as they participate in the Louisiana Highway?Safety?Commission sponsored campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

The campaign has been devised to allow extra funding for departments to pay close attention to roads and highways throughout the holiday season, specifically keeping impaired drivers in check and off of the streets.

Until January 2, many area departments will hold DWI checkpoints to allow those on patrol to apprehend drunk driver.

A number of grants have been given to ensure that officers are paid the overtime hours this project demands.

 Louisiana State Police Troop A spokesperson Russell?Graham spoke in depth of the importance of these checkpoints and the grants that allow departments to conduct them.

“LSP is one of the many agencies that benefit from these grants,” he said. “It’s not only enforcement, but just as importantly, it is the educational aspect. We have travelled throughout the state and seen firsthand the dangers and consequences of impaired drivers, especially at this time of year. Companies and individuals hold more seasonal gatherings, and the risk is then greater for impairment to be a factor on our roadways.”

Recently, parish law enforcement departments have increased the number of DWI and sobriety checkpoints in the area, a task which is aiding in keeping the roads safe from impaired drivers.

Graham added, “The Louisiana State Police has conducted over a dozen safety presentations to private companies and government agencies, as well. Getting the message out before people get on the roads is another step in the process.”

Graham also reminds people about the importance of being buckled up when on the roads.

“People need to realize that they have more than double the probability of surviving an accident if they are buckled in,” he said. “Add that to the fact that in 2011 in?Ascension?parish, over half of all accidents had either impairment or lack of a seatbelt, or both as a factor, and you can easily see why making sure you put your seatbelt on is such an important thing to do.”