Spencer police increase impaired driving enforcement

By | August 25, 2018 6:51 am

By Hansel Moore

The Spencer Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) for its “Booze It and Lose It” campaign from August 17 to September 3, surrounding the Labor Day holiday. This initiative coincides with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” mobilization to increase impaired-driving enforcement nationwide.

Sadly, the statistics prove that we have a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,497 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2016. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2012 to 2016—one person killed every 50 minutes in 2016. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. This is why the Spencer Police Department is working with THSO 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.

Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem on our nation’s roads. If drivers are impaired by any substance—alcohol or drugs—they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Driving while impaired is illegal, period. The bottom line is this: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI. It’s that simple.

“We need our community to understand: It’s up to them to make the smart decision to drive sober—Labor Day, and every day,” said Chief Michael Brock. “Drunk driving is a huge problem in our country, and the numbers are rising, little by little. This isn’t about a ticketing campaign. This is about a campaign to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal and it takes lives. Help us put an end to this senseless behavior,” he said.

Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of drunk driving, coupled with increased sobriety checkpoints and high visibility enforcement, aim to drastically reduce the number of drunk-driving crashes, injuries, and fatalities this year.

The consequences of a single DUI conviction for a first-time offender in the State of Tennessee may include costly fines, court costs, legal fees, jail time, mandatory drug and alcohol treatment, and/or the installation of an ignition interlock device in his/her vehicle.

The THSO provides grant funding to support the Spencer Police Department’s increased enforcement efforts during the Booze It and Lose It campaign.                •Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 of higher). In 2016, there were 10,497 people killed in these preventable crashes. In fact, on average, more than 10,000 people have died each year (2012 to 2016) in drunk-driving crashes. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing, with no survivors.

  • It is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher in all 50 States and the District of Columbia—no exceptions.
  • Drug-impaired driving is an increasing problem on our nation’s roads. It is illegal to drive while drug-impaired, period. It’s essential for drivers to understand: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI. Driving while impaired by any substance is deadly and illegal.
  • In 2016, almost one in five children (14 and younger) killed in traffic crashes were killed in drunk-driving crashes. Fifty-four percent of the time, it was the child’s own driver who was drunk.
  • Despite the fact that it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, one person is killed every 50 minutes by a drunk driver on our nation’s roads.
  • During the 2016 Labor Day holiday, 36 percent of fatalities in traffic crashes involved a drunk driver, which was one of the lowest percentages over the five-year period from 2012 to 2016.
  • Men are more likely than women to be driving drunk in fatal crashes. In 2016, 21 percent of males were drunk in these crashes, compared to 14 percent of females.
  • In 2016, motorcycle riders involved (killed and survived) in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment than any other type of motor vehicle driver (25% for motorcycle riders, 21% for passenger cars, 20% for light-truck drivers, and 2% for drivers of large trucks).

Labor Day Statistics

  • During the 2016 Labor Day holiday period (6 p.m. September 2 – 5:59 a.m. September 6), there were 433 crash fatalities nationwide. Forty-three percent of those fatal crashes involved drivers who had been drinking (.01+ BAC). Of the fatal crashes, more than one-third (36%) involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and one-fourth (25%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC).
  • In fatal crashes during the month of August over the five-year period of 2012-2016, almost 10% of the drunk drivers involved, with a BAC of .08 or higher, had one or more previous convictions for drunk driving.
  • Among the drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2016, 47 percent of those fatalities involved drunk drivers with BACs of .08 or higher.

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