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UCPD to crack down on impaired drivers

UCPD to crack down on impaired drivers

Posted: Saturday, August 16, 2008 10:03 am

America is facing an impaired-driving crisis and the problem is especially acute during the summer months. That’s why the Union City Police Department has announced it will join other police agencies throughout the country in support of an intensive crackdown on impaired driving now through Labor Day on Sept. 1. Nationally, more than $50 million will be spent on this year’s crackdown, known by its tag line — “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” In 2006 alone, nearly 13,500 people died in crashes in which the driver or motorcycle rider was legally impaired, according to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Among them were 306 children younger than age 15 — innocent victims of crashes that could have been avoided. “All too often, innocent law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this careless disregard for human life,” Union City Police Chief Joe Garner said. “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.” Across the country, more than $30 million in state and federal funds will be spent in support of the high-visibility crackdown through television and radio ads targeted to young male drivers, who are the most common perpetrators in the deadly crime. Another $20 million will be spent on extra police enforcement — including saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints — during the crackdown period. In every U.S. state, as well as the District of Columbia, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher. More than 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 motor vehicle driving fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 grams per deciliter or above — an average of one fatality every 39 minutes. The Union City Police Department said its 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,” Garner said. “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 the Union City Police Department, violators often face jail time, loss of their driver’s licenses or being sentenced to use an ignition interlock. Plus, their insurance rates increase. 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,” Garner added. “Remember, if you are over the limit, you’re under arrest.” The national “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest” crackdown is led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and combines high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity. For more information about the crackdown, visit the High-Visibility Enforcement Campaign Headquarters at www.StopImpairedDriving.org. Published in The Messenger 8.15.08

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