Los Angeles: Despite the fact that every driver should know it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle or motorcycle while impaired, thousands of people get behind the wheel each year with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher.
In fact, more than 10,000 people died in crashes in 2010 that involved a driver or motorcycle rider who had a BAC of .08 or higher. That’s one person every 51 minutes who died needlessly in a crash that likely could have been prevented if alcohol hadn’t been involved.
During the 2010 Labor Day weekend (6p.m., Sept. 3 – 5:59 a.m. Sept. 7) 147 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drivers or motorcycles riders with BACs of .08 or higher.
That’s why the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division is joining nearly 10,000 law enforcement agencies and other highway safety partners nationwide to support the intensive crackdown over the Labor Day holiday that will target anyone driving impaired. Efforts in the San Fernando Valley will include saturation patrols. If you are caught driving impaired you will be arrested and you will face serious consequences.
During the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown from Friday, August 31, 2012 to Monday, September 3, 2012, impaired drivers will be targeted and arrested. Valley Traffic Division is taking aggressive steps to decrease the number of impaired-driving fatalities in the San Fernando Valley, which in 2012 year to date has accounted for 2 fatalities and 588 DUI related traffic collisions.
Captain Ivan Minsal, Commanding Officer of the Valley Traffic Division stated, “We support law enforcement cracking down to remind people that if they plan to drink, to never get behind the wheel. The consequences from impaired driving are deadly serious. Even if no one is killed, people caught driving impaired face jail time, loss of their driver’s licenses, and numerous financial consequences – such as attorney fees, higher insurance rates, court costs, lost time at work and the potential loss of their job.” Sergeant Arturo Gomez, Assistant Officer-in-Charge of Valley Traffic Division’s Driving Under the Influence Unit stated, “If you’ve had too much to drink, make sure you can rely on a sober, designated driver to get you home safely or arrange to take a cab or bus so you do not become a statistic.”
No one ever imagines – when they are getting ready for an evening out – that they will be involved in an impaired driving crash. But it happens thousands of times every year. "The numbers, and more importantly, the experiences of thousands of victims, tell us that impaired driving continues to be a significant problem in our country that is preventable," said Captain Minsal. "We encourage everyone to be part of the solution by planning ahead. It takes just a few minutes, but it can save you and your loved ones from a lifetime of grief."
Impaired driving creates serious consequences.
The tragedies and costs from driving impaired do not end with potential death and injury.
Driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle while impaired is not worth the risk. The consequences are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant.
Drunk driving violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.
Refusing to take a sobriety test in many jurisdictions may result in the loss of your driver’s license and enhanced penalties. Not to mention the added embarrassment, humiliation, and consequences after informing family, friends and employers.
Please remember that Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Designate your sober driver before the Labor Day week-end parties begin.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s – Valley Traffic Division recommends the following easy steps for a safe Labor Day Weekend:
Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement by calling 9-1-1.
And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
For more information, please contact Sergeant Arturo Gomez at 805-559-9637, or Valley Traffic.