More of a presence is needed.
THE ISSUE: Drinking and driving
OUR OPINION: Either obey, or pay
Drinking and driving is pure nonsense. According to information from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, 12 people were killed in 2013 over the Labor Day weekend.
Three of the fatalities, which is 25 percent of those who died, occurred in alcohol-related crashes. An additional 43 people were injured in alcohol-related crashes.
OHP troopers and other law enforcement agencies across the state and nation already have started a special emphasis aimed at those who want to drink while driving or operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
The campaign, called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” began Friday. It will run through Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1.
It is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
If OHP in particular is serious about this effort, then there needs to be much more of a presence on the roads and highways during this campaign than we’ve seen over the past few years during this stretch.
It will do little good to hold a campaign aimed at nabbing these motorists who want to drink and drive if the resources aren’t out there to confront the violators.
During the Memorial Day holiday Operation C.A.R.E. campaign, there were only 113 DUI arrests reported by the OHP. And seat belt violations cited which the OHP reported numbered only 844.
On the DUI arrests, that equates to less than two per county and there were less than 11 motorists per county cited for not wearing seat belts.
Now these are statistics provided for only the OHP.
We are supportive of the efforts during the current campaign under way by the OHP and all of law enforcement locally, across the state and the nation.
There is no better deterrent than motorists seeing law enforcement vehicles on the road during these times of high traffic volumes. So if agencies agree to participate in this campaign, then they should show a presence.
And, especially with drunk drivers, they should enforce the law to the fullest extent possible.
Drivers choosing to ignore the law,should know if they don’t obey, then they are going to pay, pure and simple.