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Cops Crack Down on Drunk, Impaired Driving

Woburn Police warn drivers: "Drive sober, or get pulled over."

 

is cracking down on impaired driving as part of a national campaign stretching into Labor Day.

Woburn, along with 128 other Massachusetts departments, will conduct an "intensive crackdown on impaired driving" between Aug. 15 and Sept. 3 as part of the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.

Impaired driving includes operating a vehicle "under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances," according to Mass General Law.

“Our message is simple and unwavering: if we find you driving impaired, we will arrest you. No exceptions,” said Police Lt. Chris Wackrow.

According to police, impaired driving is one of the most committed and deadliest crimes. In 2010, there were 115 reported deaths; 2,750 personal injury or property damage crashes; and over 14,000 arrests due to impaired driving.

Authorities average that there is one alcohol-related fatality every 51 minutes in the U.S. 

"All too often, innocent, law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this careless disregard for human life," said Lt. Wackrow. "Because we’re committed to highway safety, we are intensifying enforcement during the crackdown."

The lieutenant said that Woburn Police will be "especially vigilant" on weekends and at nighttime, since many alcohol-related crashes occur during those time periods.

But, police warn that impaired drivers will be arrested, no matter the time of day.

“Even if you beat the odds and manage to walk away from an impaired-driving crash alive, the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can still destroy your life,” said Lt. Wackrow, adding that a first offense can cost the driver at least $5,000 in associated costs, including insurance rates.

According to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, impaired-driving violators will often see jail time, lose their driver's licenses, or be forced to use "ignition interlocks."

Woburn Police's Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will run from today (Aug. 15) until Labor Day (Sept. 3). Woburn's participation in the national campaign is funded through a federal grant from the Executive Officer of Public Safety and Security's Highway Safety Division.

Earnhardt August 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Go for it! get as many as you can off the road!
Jim Rastellini August 15, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Yet.. Another story in the Patch today discusses bringing back 'Happy Hours'. Can you believe it? The same night that they are talking about cracking down on drunk driving... Amazing! Got to laugh...
Aaron B August 15, 2012 at 02:01 PM
I just hope the judges don't dismiss 95% of the arrests with a "now you promise to be good, OK?"
Danielle Masterson (Editor) August 15, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Point taken, Jim! :) If you look at several Patches, you'll see that the Happy Hours question ran on many sites as a way to survey our readers about policy discussions at the state level. We're not endorsing or showing an opinion, just putting the question out to our readers, while this story was an informative piece that just happened to come up on the same day.
julie callahan August 18, 2012 at 02:28 PM
How about nailing the 'garden variety' bad drivers?? They don't have to be drunk to be impaired
Earnhardt August 18, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Agreed Julie. If you notice, more of the "garden variety" are too busy talking on cellphones to pay attention to driving. It's not just drunks anymore.

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