DES MOINES - It’s hard to have a happy holiday if you’re arrested for drunk driving. The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) is teaming up with law enforcement across Iowa to urge drivers to think twice before drinking and driving. December 15 – January 1, 2024, drivers will see officers working on a special high-visibility enforcement campaign to spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving from.
More parties and festivities celebrating the season bring out more drunk drivers. In 2022, preliminary data shows 35% of Iowa’s fatal crashes involved an impaired driver. Last December almost 1100 drivers were charged with OWI on Iowa roads. About 25% of those were 2nd and 3rd offenses. Impaired drivers pose a danger to other drivers and themselves. GTSB and law enforcement urge drivers to always plan before heading out to a celebration.
“Drunk driving isn’t just dangerous, it’s illegal,” says Impaired Driving Program Administrator Todd Olmstead. “Drivers have a choice to make; follow the law and respect their fellow drivers by refraining from drunk driving or make the choice to drive drunk, put others at risk, and risk their own mortality. We need a commitment from every driver to keep the roads free of drunk drivers so that everyone can have a safe holiday.”
There are plenty of options to help impaired drivers get home safely, such as designating a sober driver or calling a taxi or rideshare. If available, use your community’s sober ride program. Remember: a few dollars spent on a ride is a lot cheaper than an OWI conviction, which can cost up to $10,000. Plan before you head out for the evening. If you see an impaired driver on the road, do not hesitate to contact law enforcement.
The Fort Madison Police Department and Lee County Sheriff's department would like to remind all motorists to drive safely and defensively throughout the season. During this time of year, there are more motorists on the roads than usual and the weather can change in minutes. When celebrating with alcohol, always have your designated driver with you, or call a taxi to get home safely.
The FMPD and LCSO along with law enforcements throughout the state of Iowa, in conjunction with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, will be out in force in the month of December through New Year’s Eve, enforcing all of Iowa’s traffic laws, with an emphasis on OWI’s, speeding, seatbelt violation and texting while driving.
The Fort Madison Police Department and Lee County Sheriff's Department wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season and to drive safely. Think safety when celebrating this holiday season.
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