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Law enforcement will target impaired drivers Labor Day weekend

This booth was set up Aug. 26 on the courthouse square in West Union to remind drivers to make good decisions this coming Labor Day weekend.
This booth was set up Aug. 26 on the courthouse square in West Union to remind drivers to make good decisions this coming Labor Day weekend.

Local agencies promote Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign –

Story and photo by Patricia Beech –

A stepped-up Labor Day initiative, Drive Sober or Get Pulled  Over, is seeking to keep Adams County drivers safe during the Labor  Day weekend.

Bringing attention to the problem of impaired driving during the  Labor Day holiday is a collaborative effort between the Ohio Traffic  Safety Office, the Ohio State Patrol, Adams County Safe Communities  and the Adams County Economic Development office.

Partnering with the Ohio Highway Patrol, area agency employees on Friday, aug. 26, set up booths on the courthouse square in West Union to raise  awareness about the the campaign aimed at preventing impaired and  drunken driving during the Labor Day weekend.

“We position this event during this time of the year so we can  keep safety in the forefront of people’s minds,” said Debbie Ryan of  the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition. “As people drive past us  we hope it will soak in that they need to designate a driver. Doesn’t  mean they can’t drink or have a party, just be responsible about it and designate a driver to take them back and forth from the parties.”

The two-week Labor Day safety blitz promoted by the National  Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) encompasses six midwest  states: Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  The national crackdown calls for zero tolerance through Sept. 7 for  impaired and drunken driving.

“With the kickoff of Drive Safe or Get Pulled Over and the  approach of Labor Day, we just want to remind everybody to go out and  have a good time, but do it responsibly,” said Lt. McElfresh,  Commander of the Georgetown Post-Ohio State Patrol and member of the  Adams County Safe Communities Coalition. “Either have a designated  driver or just don’t make the bad decision to drink and get behind the  wheel,”

In 2013, 38 percent of crash fatalities during Labor Day weekend involved drunk drivers with blood alcohol concentration  (BAC) of .08 or higher and more than twenty-seven percent of those  drivers had a BAC of .15 or higher – almost twice the legal limit.

According to Ryan, the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition is  charged through the Ohio Traffic Safety Office and the Ohio Department  of Public Safety to educate the community in four main traffic safety  initiatives: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, Click It or Ticket, Look  out for Motorcycles, and Don’t Text and Drive.
“The Safety Coalition members here in Adams County do all they can to  get out in the community to support these traffic initiatives and get  them out to the people,” said Ryan. “This August, and every day,  remember: there is never an excuse to drink and drive. If you choose  to break the law, law enforcement will see you before you see them.  This Labor Day, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

A free SaferRide mobile app, available through iTunes and Google Play  makes it easy to get home safely when you’ve been drinking. The app  allows you to call pre-selected contacts or a taxi, and also  identifies your location so you can be picked up.

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