Editorial: Donâ??t let a DUI do you in

You hear the words, you see the signs, you read the statistics about drinking and driving. How much of it sinks in? Seems like weâ??ve all known someone who has been driving while under the influence, assured that they are in control, confident that they wonâ??t be stopped and horrified at the thought that they might injure someone or perhaps be injured themselves. That happens to someone else. Not me.

As summer winds down, the Culpeper Police Department is ramping up its enforcement efforts
as part of a national crackdown on drunk driving. The 20-day, high-visibility campaign, Drive

Sober or Get Pulled Over, is a partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to curb impaired driving and save lives.

From August 21-September 7 (Labor Day), law enforcement partners nationwide will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of driving drunk, coupled with checkpoints and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce the toll of drunk driving.

And what a toll it is. In 2013, there were 10,076 people killed in drunkâ??driving crashes, almost a
third of all traffic fatalities. Thirty-eight percent of crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend that year involved drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 or higher), amounting to 161 lives lost. And weâ??re not just talking about a little bit of alcohol, either. More than a quarter (27 percent) of the crash fatalities that occurred on Labor Day weekend involved drivers with BACs of .15 or higherâ??almost twice the illegal per se limit. In 2013, approximately 1 in 5 child (12 and younger) passenger deaths were in drunk driving crashes. Seventy one percent of the time, it was the child’s own driver who was drunk.

One person is killed in a drunk driving crash every 52 minutes in the United States. Of the 10,076 people killed in drunk driving crashes in 2013, 65 percent were the drunk drivers

â??Too many people think their actions donâ??t affect anybody else,â? said Chief Chris Jenkins adding, â??they know itâ??s illegal. They know itâ??s wrong. But they do it anyway â?? they make decisions as if those statistics just canâ??t happen to them.If youâ??re going to party, know who the designated driver is going to be. Itâ??s really very simple. If youâ??ve been drinking, donâ??t drive.