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DOT&PF, Law Enforcement Cracking Down on Impaired Drivers

(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) and its partnering law enforcement agencies throughout Alaska are sending a strong message to drivers during the upcoming Labor Day weekend – drive drunk and you will go to jail.

This year’s strict enforcement campaign, known as Drunk Driving. Over the Limit, Under Arrest, Drink. Drive Go To Jail, will include an active enforcement presence on Alaska’s roads now through Sept. 6.

Although the number of traffic fatalities in Alaska has declined during the past five years, impaired driving has not. In 2004, of 101 traffic fatalities, 31 percent involved an impaired driver. In 2008 there were 62 traffic fatalities with 44 percent involved an impaired driver.

“All too often, innocent, law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this careless disregard for human life,” said DOT&PF Commissioner Leo von Scheben. “Because we’re committed to ending senseless deaths and injuries on Alaska’s roads, we’re intensifying enforcement during the crackdown. State troopers and local law enforcement officers will be patrolling the roads together, especially during high-risk nighttime hours, when impaired drivers are most likely to be on our roads.”

Col. Audie Holloway said his Alaska State Troopers will aggressively look for all impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone found driving while impaired — regardless of age, vehicle type, or time of day.

“Our message is simple and unwavering. If we find you driving impaired, we will arrest you. No exceptions,” said Holloway. “Even if you beat the odds and walk away from an impaired-driving crash alive, motorists should be aware that the consequences of driving while impaired can haunt you the rest of your life.”

According to Cindy Cashen, Administrator for the Alaska Highway Safety Office, violators often face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Their insurance rates increase. Other financial hits include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects. Violators also face personal embarrassment and humiliation.

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