Monday is New Year's Eve, and while there are always extra law enforcement officers on the road, this year, a local task force has even bigger plans to keep intoxicated driver off the roads in Pottawatomie County.
The Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office Task Force is planning for a county-wide 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' enforcement. The special emphasis enforcement will begin Monday afternoon and continue into the overnight hours on Jan. 1, 2019.
Several law enforcement agencies within Pottawatomie County and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol will be part of the operation.
The OHP reports that state troopers and the ENDUI team will be partnering with the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, Shawnee, Tecumseh, Maud, Sac and Fox, Kickapoo, Earlsboro, McLoud, Citizen Potawatomi Nation and Absentee Shawnee Tribe Police Departments for a sobriety checkpoint and high-visibility patrols.
A checkpoint will be held in Shawnee and the saturation patrols will take place across the entire county before, during, and after the checkpoint.
"The goal is simple; make sure people know we are out there looking for impaired drivers so they will make the right choice to get a sober ride home," said Trooper Aaron Nickell with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's ENDUI team.
These activities are part of the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which happens twice each year. This campaign is meant to make the roads safer for everyone traveling during the holiday season by getting impaired drivers off the roads.
As a part of the campaign, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO) is offering a $10 off Uber coupon for anyone who will use it. With the abundance of ride-share services in Oklahoma, there is no reason for someone to drive under the influence. By offering these discount codes, the OHSO hopes to increase the number of people using a sober driver to get home and decrease the number of people killed in crashes across the state. To sign up for the code, go to: enduiok.com/request-uber-code
There is absolutely no reason for impaired driving collisions to happen. If you are drinking, have a plan to get home safe.
In 2017, 656 people were killed in crashes in Oklahoma; almost half of those (324) were killed in drug/alcohol-related crashes. This is up from 43 percent killed in drug/alcohol-related crashes in 2016 in Oklahoma.
As part of the effort, everyone is highly encouraged to find a safe ride by calling a sober driver, using a cab, Uber, Lyft or any other ride-share service. Better yet, have a designated driver.
The ENDUI enforcement team coordinates multi-jurisdictional events on a regular basis, including sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols. These efforts are needed to impact Oklahoma’s impaired driving problem across the state.