August 16, 2018  |  04:47 pm

Summer’s nearly over, and the Labor Day holiday might be your last chance to enjoy warm weather fun. Let’s make sure we’re enjoying it safely. Whether you’re driving to a cookout, the beach, or on a family trip: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. 

As the Labor Day holiday is one of the most dangerous on our roads, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office is joining other state and local law enforcement in a special effort leading up to and throughout the Labor Day holiday (August 16 – September 4) to protect us all from drunk drivers.

No matter where you drive in the United States, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Yet every year, about one-third of all deaths on our roads involve drunk drivers. In 2015 alone, 10,265 people were killed in drunk driving crashes—that’s one person killed every 51 minutes every day of the year.

If these cold hard facts don’t stop drunk driving, how about a nice set of cold hard steel handcuffs? That’s what you’ll be wearing this Labor Day holiday if you drink and drive. As Labor Day is one of the deadliest times of the year due to drunk driving, thousands of law enforcement agencies across America will be working to save lives by arresting drunk drivers. Your arrest not only comes with shame and embarrassment, but with up to $10,000 in fines, increased insurance costs, and other expenses.

“Drunk driving is not acceptable,” said Sheriff Randy Smith. “It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. We make zero exceptions for drunk driving. There are just no excuses,” Sheriff Smith said.  

In this day and age, there’s no excuse for drinking and driving, not when smartphones put a sober ride at your fingertips. 

Our attitudes and actions have to change when it comes to drunk driving. It begins with all of us and how we treat our friends and neighbors. If you choose to drink and drive—and it is a choice—you risk not only your own life but the lives of innocent people in your community. 

“We need our community to understand: It’s up to them to make the smart decision to drive sober— over the Labor Day holiday, and every day,” said Sheriff Smith. “This isn’t about a ticketing campaign. This is about getting the message out that drunk driving is illegal and it takes lives,” Sheriff Smith said.  

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over high-visibility enforcement campaign is your community saying loud and clear that drunk drivers will pay before they cost your community another life.

So, remember, this Labor Day and every day: Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over.

Our participation in this campaign is funded via a grant from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LAHSC).