Are You Prepared To Take A Life? DUI Can Kill More Than Just You’re Buzz.
Dover – The Delaware Office of Highway Safety along with multiple police agencies statewide are reminding motorists that drinking and driving is against the law and after a few drinks you’re a potential killer behind the wheel by launching the 11th annual Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign this weekend.
“We must remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent impaired driving on Delaware roadways and with Checkpoint Strikeforce we will again use a two prong approach that combines enhanced enforcement with public education to target impaired drivers,” said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Lewis D. Schiliro. “It is important that we not only use enforcement to remove drunk drivers but also teach the public about the dangers of impaired driving.”
Last year alcohol was involved in 37% of the 97 fatal crashes of which resulted in 37 individuals killed. Of the 66 drivers killed in fatal crashes, 52% of them were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. So far this year, seven of 43 traffic deaths (16%) have been alcohol-related compared to 34% at this time last year.
Three DUI checkpoints are schedule to take place this weekend.
Checkpoints are scheduled for:
Friday June 29th – Newport – (NcCo DUI Task Force) – checkpoint
Saturday June 30th – Woodside/Magnolia -(DSP Troop 3)- checkpoint
Georgetown- (Multi-jurisdictional effort)- checkpoint
“Impaired driving is a crime, a 100% preventable crime. The simple fact is that drugs and alcohol impair a person’s ability to drive safely,” said Lisa Shaw, Deputy Director of the Office of Highway Safety. “That is why OHS and Delaware law enforcement are once again launching the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign. The high visibility impaired driving enforcement initiative provides additional DUI checkpoints on Delaware roadways, and cracks down on impaired drivers. This summer, designate a sober driver. The responsibility belongs to each of us.”
There are eighty-one (81) sobriety checkpoints scheduled to take place during the six month long Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign. There will also be stepped up enforcement during peak holiday times including Labor Day, Halloween, and the month of December with additional DUI saturation patrols statewide.
The New Castle County DUI Task Force will again be conducting sobriety checkpoints throughout the county during the campaign. The DUI Task Force is comprised of officers from the Division of Alcohol Tobacco Enforcement (DATE), Division of Capitol Police, Middletown PD, New Castle City PD, New Castle County PD, Newark PD, Newport PD, University of Delaware PD, and Wilmington PD. Delaware State Police will also participate as part of this Task Force.
This year, OHS has partnered with Dover PD, Georgetown PD, Rehoboth Beach PD, Milford PD, Seaford PD, Harrington PD, and Smyrna PD to coordinate multi-jurisdictional checkpoints within their town limits throughout the next six months. Agencies that will be assisting with these multi-jurisdictional checkpoints include Blades PD, Bridgeville PD, Camden PD, Capitol PD, Clayton PD, the Division of Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement, Dewey Beach PD, Felton PD, Greenwood PD, Harrington PD, Laurel PD, Milford PD, Milton PD, Smyrna PD, and Wyoming PD.
The campaign’s enforcement activities will be supplemented by an all new intense public awareness and education campaign that highlight the realities and consequences of a DUI in Delaware in the form of T.V., radio spots, billboards, print, internet ads, and website www.DUIRealTime.com. OHS will tally the total number of DUI arrests made during the year in Delaware and display the total on one featured billboard in each county and on the website DUIRealTime.com. The featured billboards are located at Wilmington I-95 southbound, north Dover Route US 13 southbound, and Georgetown Route 113 northbound. OHS’s corporate partners will also receive flyers, posters, and table tents to display and help spread the message.
Those convicted of a first time DUI offense in Delaware may spend up to 1 year in prison, and will lose their license, attend an 8-week DUI treatment class and pay thousands of dollars in court, treatment, DMV, and lawyer’s fees.
Checkpoint Strikeforce is a regional sobriety checkpoint campaign aimed at arresting DUI offenders by using high visibility enforcement to deter those who would otherwise choose to drink and drive. The campaign is a six month long effort coordinated locally by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety and involves setting up weekly DUI checkpoints & patrols statewide. Officers participating in the 2011 campaign made 490 DUI arrests.
For more information and resources on Checkpoint Strikeforce visit www.ohs.delaware.gov, www.DUIRealTime.com and follow regular campaign updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe, Facebook www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE, and subscribe to YouTube channel DelawareOHS.