Law enforcement agents are patrolling Louisiana's roads for impaired drivers through Labor Day, and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is backing up the enforcement wave with a multi-media "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" public awareness campaign.
Drunk and drugged driving remains a critical problem in Louisiana. In 2017, 269 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes on Louisiana roads, according to data from the Highway Safety Research Group at LSU.
Across the country, drunk driving crashes claimed more than 10,000 lives each year from 2013 to 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Louisiana is joining other states in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which will run through Labor Day, Sept. 2, according to LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman.
"We are putting the message out through traditional media and digital communications that driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not acceptable behavior, and law enforcement officers are backing that up with a free ride to jail for impaired drivers," Freeman said. "Our goal is to keep our highways safe for people who are traveling and want to enjoy Labor Day with friends and family."
The LHSC Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign includes commercials on local and cable television, streaming video services, radio and digital outdoor billboard ads, social media placements, online banner ads and gas pump topper posters. Freeman said the awareness campaign is "one of the biggest efforts Louisiana has undertaken in several years.
"To engage people with a message today, you have to utilize a broad range of media," Freeman said. "The more we push the message that there are serious consequences to impaired driving, the closer we can get to our ultimate target of zero fatalities in Louisiana."
The LHSC offers these tips to combat impaired driving:
As part the program, the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office will conduct a “Click It or Ticket” and “Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over” checkpoint on Sept. 1.