Law enforcement agencies in Addison County and elsewhere are participating in an intensive crackdown on impaired driving through Sept. 5, known as the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
The Vermont State Police’s Operation C.A.R.E. will also be adding to enforcement efforts locally over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2 through Sept. 5.
The problem of impaired driving is a serious one. In Vermont, while the number alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities decreased from 26 in 2009 to 24 in 2010, the number is still high.
“Our message is simple and unwavering: if we find you driving impaired, we will arrest you” “said Lt. John Flannigan, Vermont State Police Traffic Safety Commander. “Therefore we urge all Vermont motorists to drive safe and be responsible.”
According to police officials, sobriety and safety checkpoints are an effective method for deterring drinking and driving by increasing awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and encouraging designated drivers.
In 2010, over the Labor Day holiday, a total of 18,977 contacts passed through the 53 checkpoints on Vermont highways resulting in 92 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
According to Kirk Martin, Orleans County Sheriff violators often face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. The financial impacts include insurance rate increases, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment.