The Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the 2020 holiday season Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over drunk driving enforcement campaign.
From Dec. 18, 2020, through Jan. 1, local law enforcement showed zero tolerance for impaired driving, arresting 13 offenders for the crime, two of which were charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
In addition to these DUI arrests, Sarpy County Sheriff’s deputies arrested nearly the same number of minors in possession of alcohol, charging 12 youths with this offense.
“We can’t stress this enough: Drunk driving is deadly, illegal behavior and it puts the driver, his or her passengers and other road users at terrible risk,” said Chief Deputy Greg London. “The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign helps our law enforcement officers better address this problem head on. If you feel impaired by any substance, do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.”
In 2019, 6,877 drivers were arrested for DUI nationwide and 1,542 drivers were involved in alcohol-related crashes. Of all alcohol-related crashes in Nebraska, there were 51 fatalities and an additional 657 injuries in 2019.
According to NHTSA, 839 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December 2018. During the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2018 alone, there were more drunk driving-related fatalities (285) than during any other holiday period that year.
“We encourage partygoers to always make a plan before they head out to their festivities, so that they may avoid driving drunk at all costs,” London said. “Remember: It is never okay to drink and drive. Even one drink can be one drink too many. Drinking and driving is a choice; one you should never make.”
In addition to the DUI and MIP arrests, Sarpy County deputies wrote a total of 187 citations and issued 64 warnings, including two citations for reckless driving, 69 citations for speeding and eight citations for no insurance. Four stolen vehicles were also recovered during this campaign.