The Gulfport Police Department is participating in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” traffic enforcement campaign that started on December 14th, 2018 and will end tomorrow, on January 1st, 2019.
During the holiday season, many people choose to celebrate and enjoy themselves by having a few drinks, but even one too many increases the risk of a crash while driving a motor vehicle.
Due to the increase in drunk-driving related fatalities during the holidays, the Gulfport Police Department will be out in force apprehending all drunk drivers and spreading the message that impaired driving will not tolerated. High visibility enforcement, electronic signboards, and sobriety checkpoints will be utilized to spread the message to the motoring public. Below are some reasons why this is necessary for the Gulfport Police Department as well as other law enforcement agencies.
In 2017, an estimated 10,874 people who were killed in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with an illegal BAC (.08 or greater). Among the people killed in these drunk driving crashes, 67% (7,052) were in crashes in which at least one driver in the crash had a BAC of .15 or higher.
Nationally, over the past five years, an average of 300 people died in drunk driving crashes the week between Christmas and New Year.
Here are some tips to keep the holidays safe and happy:
- One drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for DUI or worse – increase your chances of being involved in a crash.
- If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before the party begins.
- If you have been drinking, DO NOT DRIVE. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
Impaired driving is a choice you make and people get hurt or die as a result of that bad choice. If you fail to make a safe/ wise decision to call a sober friend for a ride, a cab, or family member versus driving while impaired, we will not fail in deciding to arrest you for impaired driving. Some people think that if they get stopped and suspected of DUI, they can just refuse a breath test to avoid the DUI charge, but Gulfport PD said this is not true. You can be arrested and will lose your driving privilege immediately. The only way to avoid a DUI charge is to drive sober or designate a sober driver ahead of time.
“Don’t let your 2018 end with a DUI arrest,” said Gulfport PD. “Plan before you go out, and remember, whether you’ve had a lot to drink or a little to drink, it’s just not worth the risk.”
They stated that the message will be very clear on the topic. “DRIVE SOBER or GET PULLED OVER!!!!!”