- Associated Press - Monday, August 18, 2014

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - Law enforcement from around the state are in the midst of a statewide push to curb impaired driving.

‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ will continue through Labor Day, Sept. 1.

State police Sgt. James Anderson tells the American Press (https://bit.ly/1eOXZNb) 63 percent of the people killed in fatal crashes worked by troopers in southwest Louisiana’s Troop D in 2013 were killed by impaired drivers.

The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is coordinating the efforts.

Campaigns such as this one help “reduce deaths and injuries,” Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats said.

“Obviously we want to get the word out and attain voluntary compliance,” Anderson said. “If we can encourage someone to not drink and drive, that is vastly preferential to finding someone driving impaired. We encourage people to make the right decisions by designating a driver and not riding with somebody else who’s impaired.”

Despite years of campaigns against impaired driving, it continues to be a problem.

“They know, but it’s the same reason that people engage in a variety of behaviors that are not in their best interest,” Anderson said. “They don’t think it’s going to happen to them.”

During the 2013 Labor Day holiday, 11 people were killed in vehicle accidents around the state, seven of those in alcohol-related crashes, according to numbers from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

Additionally, alcohol has been a factor in around 40 percent of all vehicles deaths in recent years.

The checkpoints are a “deterrent,” Anderson said. Law enforcement also patrol alternate routes around the checkpoints looking for impaired drivers.


Information from: American Press, https://www.americanpress.com

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