The latest edition of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over anti-drunk driving campaign wraps up its 2-plus week run Sunday night.
The Nebraska Dept of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office has again provided grants to the Nebraska State Patrol and 39 local law enforcement agencies across the state to help cover the costs of putting extra officers on the road.
Only 3 Panhandle agencies applied for grants, the Chadron and Scottsbluff Police Departments and the Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office.
Chadron Police Sgt Patrick Young says the grant money has allowed the Chadron department and the others to have more officers patrolling at any given time and allow them to focus on searching for drunk and impaired drivers.
Traffic fatalities in Nebraska are at a 15-year high. Nebraska Highway Safety Administrator Bill Kovarik hopes the Drive Sober grants will keep the number of deaths lower than it might otherwise be..
Kovarik says “The holidays are a special time of year for many, and we want every person to enjoy this season,” adding that we “need commitment from drivers that they’ll keep the roads free of drunk drivers so that everyone can have a safe holiday.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says about 32 people in the U-S die in drunk-driving accidents every day, which comes out to one person every 45 minutes.