Major enforcement effort seeks to save lives
Vermont joins the nation in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which began Friday, Dec. 18 and will last through Jan. 3, with a strong law enforcement presence on Vermont highways. Law enforcement agencies across the state include the DUI Task Force, local police, sheriff’s departments, and the Vermont State Police Operation C.A.R.E (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) will be conducting extra patrols and sobriety checkpoints to detect impaired drivers. In addition, Vermont will utilize law enforcement Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) to evaluate any suspected drug impaired drivers.
In 2014, 38 percent of fatalities were impaired driving-related which includes both drugs and alcohol. To date, there have been 52 people killed in highway crashes and 10 of those involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, which is illegal in every state.
“It’s time for all drivers to get the message,” said Lt. John Flannigan of the Vermont State Police. Driving impaired is a choice you make, that puts others at risk of injury or death.”
So make a plan before that holiday gathering, police say. If you plan on drinking, designate a designated driver or use alternate public transportation.
“Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work, and dozens of other expenses. So do not take the chance,” said Secretary of Transportation Chris Cole.
The public is encouraged to report suspected impaired drivers by calling 911 or contacting their local law enforcement agency.