Editor's note: The following information was provided by the North Canton Police Department.
If you drink and drive in the city of North Canton, beware: The is joining with law enforcement throughout the nation for the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign now through Sept. 3.
The strong nationwide impaired driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement and high-profile events and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb alcohol impaired driving in August and through the Labor Day holiday weekend (6 p.m. Sept. 3 through 5:59 a.m. Sept. 4).
The North Canton Police Department said its officers will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.
It is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter. Despite these laws, in 2010 more than 10,000 people died in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was impaired.
“On average there is one alcohol impaired driving-related fatality every 51 minutes across America. But this tragic loss of life can be reduced if we get impaired drivers off our roadways,” said Chief Stephan B. Wilder. “Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign reduces alcohol-impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will continue to make the city of North Canton’s roadways safer for everyone throughout the Labor Day period.”
During the Labor Day weekend in 2010, 147 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers or motorcycle riders with BACs of .08 or higher. Of those fatalities, 80 percent occurred from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.
“Obviously, we want to remind everyone that it is illegal to drive impaired, and we hope the campaign will remind people that if they plan on drinking, to never get behind the wheel,” Wilder said. “But if someone does choose to drive impaired, we will arrest them. No warnings. No excuses.”
According to the North Canton Police Department, violators face jail time, loss of their driver licenses and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work and the potential loss of job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.
“Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk. So don’t take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,’” Wilder said.
For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Headquarters.