Law enforcement officers across Louisiana are on a life-saving mission through January 1: They are trying to keep Happy Holidays from turning into Deadly December by finding and arresting drunk and drug-impaired drivers during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
In December 2019, 33 people were killed on Louisiana roads in 28 alcohol-related crashes, according to the Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation at LSU. The 33 alcohol-related deaths were the most in any month in 2019, which was the second straight year showing a December increase.
“December usually is a bad month for alcohol-related fatalities, so sheriff’s deputies, police officers and State Police troopers all over Louisiana are joining this campaign to get impaired drivers off the road,” said Lisa Freeman, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.
“Our law enforcement partners will have extra patrols on the roads through January 1, and any impaired driver who is stopped by police will be arrested, ” Freeman said. “This year has been tough enough; don’t end it in a jail cell because of a bad decision.”
Freeman added that drug-impaired driving is on the rise in Louisiana. Law enforcement officers are trained to spot impaired drivers who are under the influence of drugs – even legal, prescribed drugs.
“Having a prescription for a drug does not make it legal to drive if the drug impairs you,” Freeman said. “If the drug changes your reactions or judgment, or if it alters your senses, you should not be operating a motor vehicle.”
“If you’re impaired and need a ride home, hail a ride or find a friend to drive you home. Better yet, find a designated driver beforehand if you think you may be impaired,” Freeman said.
“If you’re with a friend or family member who obviously is impaired, be a holiday hero and get them home safely,” Freeman said. “You may save someone’s life.”