California, other states to crack down on drunk driving during Labor Day holiday

13:46, August 20, 2010      

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California will launch a statewide multi-agency campaign against drunk driving drivers during the upcoming Labor Day holiday through setting up of 200 checkpoints and beef-up of other enforcements in a concerted operation with other states across the country, authorities announced on Thursday.

Beginning on Aug. 20 and ending on Sept. 6, the 18-day drive will see agents from California Avoid DUI(Driving Under the Influence) Campaign and individual local agencies staffing nearly 200 checkpoints and the launch of multiple local roving DUI saturation patrols and several dozen task force operations, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) said in a press release.

Joining forces with law enforcement officers across the country to take part in the national "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest" crackdown during the Labor Day holiday period, the Californian authorities will also launch warrant and probation sweeps targeting repeat offenders, along with court sting operations for DUI suspects who leave court and disobey court orders not to drive on suspended licenses, GHSA said.

Media campaign will also be held in 42 counties in the state, with daily updates on DUI arrests, upcoming notices of the nightly enforcements, and reports of fatal DUI crashes occurring overnight.

Supported by 31 million U.S.dollars in national and state advertisements, police in every state will be out in full force conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols to catch drunk drivers in a high-visibility law enforcement campaign, GHSA, a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico said.

A total of more than 450 agencies including police, sheriffs and the California Highway Patrol are coordinating campaign efforts in partnership with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration' s national campaign.

Drunk driving has been a threat to the safety of the public over the years. Each year, nearly 12,000 people die on the roads due to drunk driving, which is equal to about 30 jumbo jets crashing each year. In California alone, over 1,000 people died at the hands of drunk drivers in 2008, GHSA said.

According to GHSA, this year more states are turning to technology to help fight drunk driving. Michigan will debut its first-of-its-kind iPhone application, the Michigan DUI Tracker, using the phone's GPS sysem to remind users that law enforcement can be anywhere at any time. Many states are increasingly using Twitter, Facebook and other technologies to spread awareness about the crackdown.Ignition interlocks will also be used to deter drunk driving.

Source: Xinhua


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