Northeast Mississippi law enforcement agencies will join others across the country starting Friday in a focus on impaired driving that will last through Labor Day.
Officers from police departments, sheriff departments and the Mississippi Highway Patrol will be out in force through Sept. 7 as part of “Drunk Driving: Over the Limit, Under Arrest.”
Organizers of the enforcement blitz emphasize that drunken driving is a crime – one of America’s deadliest. In 2007, nearly 13,000 died in crashes involving a drunken driver.
“Driving with a blood alcohol count of .08 or higher is illegal in every state,” said Oxford Police Chief Mike Martin. “Yet we continue to see far too many people with debilitating injuries and deaths as a result of impaired driving.”
Motorcycle riders are at particular risk. In fatal crashes in 2007, about 27 percent of motorcycle riders had a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or more – more than any other group.
Sgt. Leslie White of the Mississippi Highway Patrol noted that many drivers are unimpressed by the heightened risks to their safety and that of others.
“Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work, and dozens of other expenses,” he said. “So don’t take the chance. Remember, if you are caught over the limit, you will be placed under arrest.”
For more information, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org.
Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal