Nationwide DUI crackdown planned

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State highway safety and law enforcement agencies across the nation will be conducting a major drunk driving crackdown over the next few weeks, and their efforts will be highlighted with a massive advertising blitz.

The enforcement crackdown — known as “Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest” — includes sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, as well as an $11 million national TV and radio campaign. The timing of the crackdown — the last weeks of summer vacation, including the Labor Day holiday weekend — is a heavy travel time and period of increased drunk driving fatalities and injuries.

“Our message is simple,” says Nicole Nason, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “If we catch you driving drunk, we will arrest and prosecute you. No exception. No excuses.”

Drunk driving enforcement continues to be a top priority for the department, says Nason, noting no improvement in last year’s alcohol-related fatality numbers. In 2006, 15,121 fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator, pedestrian or cyclist who had a .08 or above BAC (blood alcohol concentration) compared to 15,102 in 2005, she said.