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Drunk Driving Awareness and Arrests Being Stepped Up by Federal Government

According to David Shepardson and the Detroit News Washington Bureau, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is launching a retooled $13 million campaign to crack down on drunken driving. As an attorney that represents victims of drunk driving, I am thrilled.

The government is introducing a new television and radio ad campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” The campaign, running in major media markets, replaces “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” You may have seen it, the new TV advertising features “invisible” law enforcement officers observing alcohol-impaired individuals before apprehending them when they attempt to drive their vehicles. The new theme is scheduled to run over the next five years.

“While we have made great strides in reducing drunk driving over the years, tragically, drunk driving remains one of the leading causes of death and injury on America’s roads,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

In a study released today, NHTSA said the highest risk of being involved in a fatal crash with a drunken driver occurs between midnight and 3 a.m. Among nearly 11,000 people killed in a crash involving a drunken driver in 2009, one out of four occurred during those hours, the agency said.

From 2008 to 2009, traffic deaths across the country fell 9.7 percent, while alcohol-related traffic deaths dropped 7.4 percent to 10,839, according to NHTSA.

Coinciding with the advertising push, states are mounting stepped-up enforcement efforts.

“Law enforcement officers across the country are out in force, cracking down on anyone who breaks the law and drives drunk,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “If you’ve had too much to drink, don’t even think about getting behind the wheel. You may not see them, but they will see you. Don’t risk it.”

Targeting drivers in the final weeks of summer, through the Labor Day holiday weekend, the annual crackdown snares thousands of drunken drivers.

The efforts nationwide involve more than 10,000 police departments and other law enforcement agencies, who will be redoubling efforts during this high-risk travel period to ensure impaired drivers are detected and arrested.

We pride ourself in representing and fighting for DUI Victims and DWI Victims in these cases and seeking all damage, including punitive (or punishing) damages against the drunk drivers.

John M. Phillips
Law Office of John Phillips

Much of this article was excerpted from The Detroit News: