Deputies with the Independence County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting sobriety checks throughout the county on Friday, May 6, and Friday, May 13, according to a release from the department. The activity is funded by the Independence County Drug Free Communities Grant.
Sheriff Shawn Stephens and his department also remind drivers to make sure you and your friends stay safe this Cinco De Mayo by remembering one important piece of advice: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” This means that if you plan to drink, it’s essential that you plan ahead for a sober ride home.
Stephens and the department are teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving. Even one drink can be one too many.
“We understand people are looking for a reason to celebrate, and we want our community members to enjoy Cinco De Mayo, but we also want to impress upon everyone the importance of planning ahead for a sober driver and get home alive,” said Stephens. “If you’ve been drinking, make the right choice to find a sober driver to get you and your friends home safely. Before you put your keys in the ignition, remind yourself, either ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.’”
According to NHTSA, 10,142 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2019. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2015 to 2019 — one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 52 minutes in 2019.
Drivers should also keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention to their surroundings could put pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.
“Drunk drivers are a continuing problem on our nation’s roads, especially around days like Cinco De Mayo,” said Stephens. “People need to know that they can go out for a night of fun and return home safely by planning ahead to ensure they have a sober driver take them home. Don’t be the reason someone — including yourself — doesn’t get home. Don’t let Cinco De Mayo become an anniversary of a tragic night.”
If you’re the designated driver, make sure you don’t drink so you can keep that promise of safety to yourself and your passengers. It can be a long night, but people are counting on you, not to mention the other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the streets. Take the role of designated driver seriously — people are relying on you.
Plan a Sober Ride
Before ever heading out, it’s vital to plan ahead. Be honest with yourself: You know whether you’ll be drinking or not. Follow these ideas to ensure you and your fellow partygoers live another day.
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact Independence County 911 Dispatch at (870) 698-2436.
Do you have a friend who has been drinking and is about to drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at email@example.com. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget to download the White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
Get up-to-date local and regional news/weather every weekday morning and afternoon from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ. White River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLE, Outlaw 106.5, and Your FM 99.5.