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Picayune Police Department labor day weekend plans

Drunk driving is one of America’s deadliest crimes.

During 2004, nearly 13,000 people were killed in highway crashes involving an impaired driver or motorcycle operator with an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. The picture for motorcycle operators is particularly bleak. Forty-one percent of the 1,672 motorcycle operators who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2004 had BAC levels of .08 or higher.

That is why the Picayune Police Department has announced they will be join with other law enforcement and highway safety agencies across the nation during August and the Labor Day holiday to launch an aggressive crackdown on impaired drivers called: Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest.

“Make no mistake. Our message is simple. No matter what you drive — a passenger car, pickup, sport utility vehicle or motorcycle — if we catch you driving impaired, we will arrest you. No exceptions. No excuses,” said Chief Jim Luke. “We will be out in force conducting sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and using undercover officers to get more drunk drivers off the road. We want everyone to play it safe and always designate a sober driver.”

The Picayune Police Department will conduct roadblocks from today through Tuesday, Sept. 4, as a part of the National Crackdown on drinking and driving. The roadblocks will be on Jackson Landing Road, North and South Beech Street, U.S. 11, Mississippi 43 South and North, Memorial Boulevard, East and West Canal Street, and Martin Luther King Boulevard. The Picayune Police Department also will checkfor drivers license violations, expired tags, child restraint violations, seat belt violations, improper equipment, and D.U.I. violations.

Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state. Although drunk-driving fatalities across the nation declined slightly in 2003 and 2004, alcohol-related fatalities are projected to increase in 2005. Moreover, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, more than 1.4 million people were arrested for driving under the influence during 2004.

“Drunk driving is simply not worth the risk. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for impaired driving can be significant,” said Deputy Chief David Ervin. “Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work and dozens of other expenses. So don’t take the chance. Remember, if you are over the limit, you are under arrest.”

The national Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest impaired driving crackdown is a comprehensive impaired driving prevention program organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.

This year’s effort is supported by $11 million in paid-national advertising to help put everyone on notice that if they are caught driving impaired, they will be arrested. For more information, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org.