Responding to what it views as a continuing problem in the number of intoxicated-driving fatalities, the Niagara County Sheriff's Office announced this week it will join other law enforcement agencies throughout the country in support of an intensive crackdown on intoxicated driving. From Aug. 20 to Sept. 6, the program "Drunk Driving, Over the Limit" will see sheriffs deputies intensely focused on enforcement measures to combat drunken driving throughout the county.
Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour reports that in 2008 alone, nearly 12,000 people died in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was at or above the legal limit, according to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The age group with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers in fatal crashes is young people age 21-24.
All too often, innocent, law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this careless disregard for human life. Because the Niagara County Sheriff's Office is committed to ending the carnage, enforcement will be intensified during the crackdown. The Niagara County Sheriff's Office will be especially vigilant during high-risk nighttime hours when intoxicated drivers are most likely to be on the roads.
Voutour said deputies will be aggressively looking for all intoxicated drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone they find driving while intoxicated -- regardless of age, vehicle type, or time of day.
"Our message is simple and unwavering. If we find you driving intoxicated, we will arrest you. No exceptions," said Voutour. "Even if you beat the odds and walk away from an intoxicated-driving crash alive, motorists should be aware that the consequences of driving while intoxicated can still virtually destroy your life."
Violators often face jail time, loss of driver's license, or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Insurance rates go up, and other financial hits may include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators can also face personal embarrassment and humiliation.
"Driving intoxicated is simply not worth all the consequences. So don't take the chance. Remember, if you are over the limit, you're under arrest," said Voutour.
--Submitted by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office