Tribal police to crack down on drunk driving
"Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" is a slogan that should be familiar and it's a concept that the Fort Hall Police Department is taking seriously as they join with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and law enforcement agencies throughout the state to crackdown hard on drunk drivers now through Sept. 7.
According to For Hall Police Captain Mark Massey, the crackdown will include high visibility enforcement, sobriety checkpoints and will be supported by a national paid advertising campaign to raise awareness of the effort.
"Our officers, wardens and detectives will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers during the crackdown and we will arrest anyone caught driving drunk," Massey said.
He went on, "On average, there is one alcohol impaired driving-related fatality every 51 minutes across America. This tragic loss can be reduced if we get impaired drivers off of our roadways."
Massey said that research has shown that high visibility events such as the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign reduces alcohol impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent and that this will help make the roadways in the area safer throughout the Labor Day period.
In 2010, 147 people died over Labor Day weekend in car crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. Eighty percent of those crashes were between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
"Obviously, we want to remind everyone that it is illegal to drive impaired and we hope the campaign will remind people that if they drink, do not get behind the wheel," Massey stressed. "And those who choose to drive impaired will be arrested."
Massey emphasized that violators will face jail time, steep financial consequences, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work and potential loss of job.
He added, "When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment. It's not worth the risk...don't take the chance."
The Fort Hall Police Department will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint on Aug. 31 in the parking lot of the Early Childhood Development Center located off Simplot Road. The checkpoint will run from 9 p.m to 3 a.m. and will focus on community interaction and checking for impaired drivers.
For more information on "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" go to www.nhtsa.gov/driversober.