BATON ROUGE (LHSC) – Last year, five of the seven people killed in crashes during the five-day New Year's holiday died as a result of alcohol-related incidents. During this year's long holiday to usher in the new year, law enforcement agencies across Louisiana will be out in full force removing drunk drivers from the state's roads.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission has provided grants to 53 law enforcement agencies across the state to conduct saturation patrols and DWI checkpoints as part of the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. Authorities hope the campaign will improve upon the 2012 New Year's holiday, which saw 370 crashes resulting in seven deaths and 593 injuries.
"Alcohol is a part of many New Year's Eve celebrations and we know that's not going to change," said Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. "However, we urge those who will be drinking to appoint a designated driver before the partying begins. If you can't find a non-drinking friend or family member who is willing to drive you home, then take a taxi or use other means of transportation."
Forty-one percent of the people killed on Louisiana roads last year were involved in alcohol-related crashes. However, alcohol was a factor in 75 percent of fatal crashes over the New Year's holiday.
The legal and financial costs of driving while impaired can be significant. Drunk-driving violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.
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