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Carroll County Health Department: Drive sober or get pulled over

Summer’s nearly over, and the Labor Day holiday might be your last chance to enjoy warm weather fun. Let’s make sure we’re enjoying it safely.

Whether you’re driving to a cookout, the beach, or on a family trip: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. As the Labor Day holiday is one of the most dangerous on our roads, State and local law enforcement will be making a special effort leading up to and throughout the Labor Day holiday (Aug. 16 through Sept. 2) to protect us all from drunk drivers.

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No matter where you drive in the U.S., it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Yet every year, about one-third of all deaths on our roads involve drunk drivers. In 2017 alone, 10,874 people were killed in drunk driving crashes — that’s one person killed every 48 minutes every day of the year.

As Labor Day is one of the deadliest times of the year due to drunk driving, thousands of law enforcement agencies across America will be working to save lives by arresting drunk drivers. Your arrest not only comes with shame and embarrassment, but with up to $10,000 in fines, increased insurance costs, and other expenses.

In this day and age, there’s no excuse for drinking and driving. Not when smartphones put a sober ride at your fingertips. With a ride sharing app or a quick call for taxi or a local sober ride program, you can stay safe, protect others and avoid arrest.

Thanks to our friends in law enforcement and organizations empowered by millions of Americans, we’ve made tremendous progress in changing attitudes about drunk driving to make our roads safer. Since 1982, through tougher laws, smart enforcement, and passionate advocacy, we've cut drunk driving deaths nearly in half. Yet we’re still losing about 10,000 people every year to drunk driving.

Our attitudes and actions have to change when it comes to drunk driving. It begins with all of us and how we treat our friends and neighbors. If you choose to drink and drive — and it is a choice — you risk not only your own life but the lives of innocent people in your community. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over high-visibility enforcement campaign is your community saying loud and clear that drunk drivers will pay before they cost your community another life.

So, remember, this Labor Day and every day: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

For more information, visit nhtsa.gov/campaign/drive-sober.

Lauren Harrison is a health Educator with the Carroll County Health Department.

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