DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
This time of year, with all the holiday parties and festive occasions, many partygoers will be drinking. If you’re celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, the Park County Sheriff’s Office has a message for you: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Due to the increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across America will be out in force December 14 - January 1, 2015, actively searching for drunk drivers. The facts are grim: in December 2012 there were 830 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher; 26 of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day. On average, a third (31%) of all crash fatalities in America involves drunk driving. But on Christmas day 2012, the percentage jumps to 36 percent.
“It’s time for all drivers to get the message,” said Sheriff Scott Steward, “that drunk driving isn’t a victimless crime. You could kill yourself or someone else, or get a DUI and go to jail.” It’s illegal in every state to drive over the limit of .08 BAC. And it might not take as much alcohol as you think to get there. So the safest approach is to only drive sober. If you plan on drinking at a holiday party, bar, or restaurant, let someone else do the driving: a sober relative, friend or call a taxi. Every year, more than 10,322 people are killed by drunk drivers in America. That’s equivalent to 20 jumbo jets crashing each year. If you’re drinking and driving, law enforcement will find and arrest you. No warnings, no excuses. You’ll face jail time, fines, loss of your driver’s license, towing fees, and other DUI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average. Not to mention the humiliation among your family, friends, and workplace.
Some people think that if they get pulled over for driving drunk, they can just refuse a breath test to avoid the DUI charge. “Not true,” says Sheriff Steward. “Refusing a breath test means an automatic arrest and loss of your driver’s license on the spot.” Also, if you refuse a breath test, a search warrant may be obtained and a blood sample drawn for analysis pursuant to Wyoming state statutes. The only way to truly avoid a DUI is to drive sober.
In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, Sheriff Steward is calling on everyone to be alert. If you see a drunk driver on the road, call the Park County Sheriff’s 911 Dispatch Center at 307-527-8700 right away. You could save a life. If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely. “We have to work together to make our roads safer this holiday season and year-round,” Steward said.
So this holiday season, plan ahead and designate a sober driver before the party begins. It is never safe to drink and drive: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
For more information, visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/.
SHERIFF OFFICE ISSUES WINTER SAFETY TIPS
Now that winter has a firm grip on the state of Wyoming, the Park County Sheriff’s Office urges the community to be safe and cautious when outside and while driving in extreme winter weather conditions. With temperatures well below zero to single digits above, and feeling like -10F to -20F, residents need to dress warm and dress in layers. Wear a coat or jacket, hat, scarf, gloves, and sturdy shoes or boots to avoid frostbite. Exposed skin can become frostbitten in only 10 minutes when temperatures are dangerously cold. CLICK HERE for a list of common sense safety tips when driving in severe winter weather: