State and local law enforcement agencies, including the police departments in Talladega, Sylacauga and Pell City, will be stepping up their enforcement efforts to identify drunk drivers and get them off the road, according to a press release.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign for the Labor Day weekend will be “part of a nationwide effort … to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement and public education tools,” the release said.

Talladega Police Lt. Alan Kelly said, “This is a critical law enforcement program that can save lives. Statistics show that Americans love to celebrate Labor Day with family, friends and food, but all too often the festivities turn tragic on the nation’s roads. The fact is, Labor Day is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk-driving crashes and the amount of school-age passengers on the road. Driving under the influence can turn a celebrated holiday into a tragedy in an instant.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is taking advantage of the upcoming holiday to remind people of the cost of driving under the influence over the long weekend. Drunk driving will not be tolerated, according to the release.

“We will be out in force in the community … No excuses, no warnings. If drivers are caught driving impaired, they will be arrested. NHTSA data shows that drivers respond to this type of highly visible enforcement; past campaigns have resulted in a 20 percent decrease in alcohol related crash fatalities. With one person, on average, dying every 34 minutes in a drunk driving crash over the Labor Day period, that’s a lot of lives that could be saved.”

Authorities encourage Labor Day weekend revelers to plan ahead, and make sure those plans include a sober ride home for themselves and their guests.

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