Leesville Police to participate in Drive Sober Get Pulled Over campaign this Labor Day

Published 12:37 pm Monday, August 29, 2022

This Labor Day weekend, the Leesville Police Department will be conducting checkpoints and increasing patrols targeting impaired drivers as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

Each Labor Day holiday, the Leesville PD partners with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) and other law enforcement agencies throughout the country to keep impaired drivers off the roads and help save lives.

This year’s high-visibility national enforcement campaign began on Aug. 19 and will continue through Sept. 5. During that time, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for impaired driving.

The national campaign aims to drastically reduce drunk and impaired driving on roadways.

According to NHTSA statistics, 11,654 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2020 that involved an alcohol-impaired driver. That number increased from the 10,874 people who were killed in 2017.

Among those 2020 fatalities, 67 percent were in crashes involving a driver with a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher.

Those numbers average to one person being killed in an alcohol-impaired driving crash every 45 minutes in 2020, according to the NHTSA.

Leesville Police Chief Beth Westlake said she hopes the campaign reminds the public that impaired driving is not only illegal, but is a matter of life and death and is preventable. Even if no one is injured or killed, Westlake reminded drivers the consequences are still costly with penalties that may include suspension or revocation of a driver’s license, fines and jail time.

“We want our community members to understand that it’s our first priority to keep people safe, so we’re asking everyone to plan ahead and never drive after consuming any alcohol or any type of drug. Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride-sharing service to get home safely. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement. If you have a friend that is impaired and about to drive, take their keys and make arrangements for them to get home safely. Your actions could help save someone’s life,” Westlake said.