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ROPD: Labor Day crackdown

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Red Oak – The problem of impaired-driving is a serious one. While America witnessed a decline in the number of impaired-driving fatalities from 2007-2008, the numbers are still too high.

That’s why the Red Oak Police Department announced it will join other law enforcement agencies throughout the country in support of an intensive crackdown on impaired driving from Friday, Aug. 20 – Monday, Sept. 6, known by its tagline, Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.

In 2008 alone, nearly 12,000 people died in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was at or above the legal limit, according to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The age group with the highest percentage of alcohol impaired drivers in fatal crashes is young people age 21-24.

"All too often, innocent, law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this careless disregard for human life," said Chief Craig Rudolph of the Red Oak Police Department.

"Because we’re committed to ending the carnage, we’re intensifying enforcement during the crackdown.

"We’ll be especially vigilant during high-risk nighttime hours when impaired drivers are most likely to be on our roads."

In every state, as well as the District of Columbia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

Approximately 10,000 police agencies will participate in this year’s mid-August through Labor Day crackdown, including law enforcement officers representing every state, the District of Columbia and many U.S. cities and towns.

According to the latest data, 32 percent of fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 g/dL or above — an average of one fatality every 45 minutes.

Rudolph said his officers will be aggressively looking for all impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone they find driving while impaired — regardless of age, vehicle type, or time of day.

"Our message is simple and unwavering. If we find you driving impaired, we will arrest you. No exceptions," said Rudolph.

"Even if you beat the odds and walk away from an impaired-driving crash alive, motorists should be aware that the consequences of driving while impaired can still virtually destroy your life."

According to Rudolph, violators often face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks.

Their insurance rates go up.

Other financial hits include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects.

When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation.

"Driving impaired is simply not worth all the consequences.

"So don’t take the chance. Remember, if you are over the limit, you’re under arrest," said Rud-olph.

For more information on the crackdown, visit the High-Visibility Enforcement Campaign Headquarters at www.StopImpairedDriving.org.

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