OUACHITA PARISH, LA (12/13/19)– Whether your favorite Christmas alcoholic beverage is eggnog or apple cider, driving under the influence can get you in trouble with Santa and the police. The consequence of drinking and driving this holiday season is worse than being put on the naughty list.
“Our job is to make sure locals and people who are passing through are safe. That’s what we are going to do and if you’re caught drinking and driving you’re going to jail,” said Trooper Michael Reichardt, Louisiana State Police Troop: F.
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a national campaign law enforcement is starting December 13th and ends January 1st.
“It makes me feel a lot more comfortable knowing that there will be a lot of police officers out there,” said Caroline Stansbury, Local Driver.
Locals can expect all forces and extra personnel to be out on the roads.
“Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean we always get to take off. We work 24-7- 365. We will have troopers out there regardless,” said Trooper Reichardt.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission says this is not a light matter, too many families have been torn apart by impaired drivers.
“It’s not something that anybody should be doing because it could not only harm themselves but other people,” said Francisco Sanchez, Local Driver.
Louisiana laws say if you are over the age of 21, your blood alcohol content can’t be higher than .08%. If you’re underage, it can’t be higher then .02%. However, police say if you’re going to go out and have drinks, just don’t get behind the wheel.
According to the Center for Analytics and research in Transportation, during the 2018 Louisiana Christmas season, 12 people were killed and 84 people were injured in alcohol-related wrecks.
“I think it’s important to not drink and drive because there are a lot of people out there that are wanting to get home to their families,” said Stansbury.
In addition, police are asking that everyone buckles up before putting the car in drive. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over program doesn’t just deal with alcohol but with illegal drugs as well. In addition, check the side effects of prescription drugs as these could impair your driving as well.