Office of Highway Safety Initiative: ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Initiative

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Lt. Joseph Platt talks about the $80,000 VIPD van to test for drunk driving (Susan Ellis photo).

The Office of Highway Safety urges the public to enjoy the last of summer safely. Whether driving to a cookout, the beach or on a family trip: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) is ramping up its enforcement efforts as part of a national crackdown on drunk driving. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over high-visibility enforcement campaign is the community saying loud and clear that drunk drivers will pay before they cost the community another life.

In this day and age, there’s no excuse for drinking and driving. With a quick call for a taxi or a local sober ride program, people can stay safe, protect others and avoid arrest. State and local law enforcement will be making a special effort leading up to and throughout the Labor Day holiday (Aug. 13– Sept. 3) to protect us all from drunk drivers.

It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Yet every year, about one-third of all deaths on our roads involve drunk drivers. In 2017 in the Virgin Islands, there was a total of 10 traffic fatalities; impaired driving territorial enforcement generated 87 DUI arrests with one fatality related to impaired driving and 16 serious injuries.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 35,092 people died in traffic crashes in 2015 in the United States, including an estimated 10,265 people who were killed in drunk driving crashes, that’s one person killed every 51 minutes, every day of the year.

Labor Day is one of the deadliest times of the year due to drunk driving. An arrest not only comes with shame and embarrassment; it comes with up to $10,000 in fines, increased insurance costs and other expenses.

The Office of Highway Safety reminds the U.S. Virgin Islands that attitude and actions have to change when it comes to drunk driving. If a person chooses to drink and drive — and it is a choice – that person risks not only his or her own life but the lives of innocent people in the community.

All it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver. Remember, “Drunk driving can cost you your freedom, or worse — your Life.”

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