The Helena-West Helena Police Department has joined the statewide crackdown of seatbelt and driving while intoxicated violations that started on Friday, August 16 and will continue through Labor Day, Monday, September 2.
Holidays like Labor Day are particularly dangerous for encountering drunk drivers. The effective crackdown will include officers aggressively looking for impaired drivers and drivers not wearing seat belts. Impaired driving includes driving under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs as well as some over-the-counter drugs.
So far, one person has been arrested for DWI, in addition to 12 other charges including driving on a suspended license for DWI, several counts of no seatbelt and several counts of endangering the welfare of a minor.
Officer Matthew Jarrett stated he observed the vehicle stopped in the middle of the road with no turn signal and then swerve left of center. The offender has had prior DWIs offenses back in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
A recent survey and study indicates that people believe that after a few drinks they are still able to drive safe.
“In reality, even one drink can impair your judgment and substantially delay your reaction time, putting yourself and others on the highway in danger,” said Laketha Brown-Fluker, DWI specialist and Mothers Against Drunk Driving vice president for MADD Arkansas.
It is a continued and rigorous effort to make sure people are driving sober and safe. Drunk driving continues to be a significant problem and about one-third of the motor vehicle traffic deaths each year involve drunk drivers, according the NHTSA.
Fluker stated that the best option is if you must drink, is to have a “sober” designated driver for the safety of everyone.
“Please join us in thanking law enforcement for the work they do to keep our highways and community safe during the holiday crackdown,” she concluded.