The holidays are a time for celebration, visiting with loved ones, and reflecting on the year past and the year ahead. Yet all too often, the holiday spirit is destroyed by the recklessness of a impaired or drunk driver.
The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department joins other local, county, and state law enforcement agencies across the country each December to remind everyone that Drunk Driving and/or Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs during the holiday season don't mix.
Whether you've had one or one too many -- drinking and driving is never worth the risk, said Police Chief Robert H. Harrison. If you are going to drink, designate a sober driver before the party starts, and encourage your friends and family to always do the same. We want you to be able to spend Christmas and New Years with your family and friends, rather than in a hospital or jail cell. This agency adheres to a zero tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol use when operating a motor vehicle on city streets.
Twenty-nine percent of fatalities during months of December from 2007 to 2011 occurred in crashes that involved drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 grams per deciliter or higher. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 760 people died as a result of drunk driving-related crashes during December 2011.
While everyone knows that driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle while impaired seriously jeopardizes your safety and the safety of others on the road around you, we still see far too many lives lost each December.
Our holiday DWI mobilization is funded through a combination of local, state and federal funds provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Highway Safety Office of the Arkansas State Police & Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. Our local program began in 1991 in Texarkana, Arkansas running continuously for 23 years. We have seen a dramatic drop in the blood alcohol rates since the original Arkansas Community Traffic Safety Project began.
TAPD is encouraging people to take steps to ensure their holiday celebrations don't end in tragedy. Our DWI Traffic Safety Grant provides for additional patrol officers to work DWI Check Points and DWI/Speed Enforcement shifts during the holiday season.
Designate a sober driver before the celebrations begin; plan a way to get home safely if you've been drinking.
If you are impaired, call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member.
Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the
If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone's life, and inaction could cost a life.
Thank you and you can visit the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department online at http://www.txkusa.org/arkpolice.
Corporal Kittiele Stewart