V.I. Police launch 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign
Published: August 9, 2013
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ST. CROIX - The V.I. Police Department announced Wednesday that it soon will launch its latest in a series of initiatives and driving safety campaigns in hopes of keeping the roads safe as summer wraps up and the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches.
The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign will begin sometime during the middle of August and wrap up on Labor Day in each district as part of a national campaign against drunken driving.
"Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement and public education tools. Launched by law enforcement agencies across the United States in 1999, the program works to combat drunken driving during some of the busiest travel times of the year.
At a press briefing Friday, Police Commissioner Rodney Querrard Sr. said law enforcement officers will be out in the community in each district on the lookout for drunken drivers to get them off the roads.
"Drunk driving is the most deadly and harmful crime that there is, and even one drunk driver on our roads is one too many," he said. "We have to really take this matter seriously, because alcohol and vehicles should not mix."
Querrard said the speed limit on St. Croix is 55 mph and 35 mph on St. Thomas. Those speeds are not that fast, but if a person is intoxicated, their vision and reaction time is impaired and it can be deadly, he said.
Impaired driving also refer to individuals who are under the influence of over the counter or prescription drugs that may cause drowsiness or impairment, Querrard said.
"These medications have warnings so that you do not operate a vehicle while you are under the influence. So if you do, it results in negligence on your part, and you will be held accountable," he said.
St. Croix Police Chief James Parris said police officers have seen a significant increase of impaired driving during the times that they do such initiatives and also have made arrests, not only as a result of the strategically placed traffic road blocks, but because many times drunk drivers end in traffic collision.
"We are going to have men on the street, augmenting the traffic officers with officers from the zones and send the message that we want to protect our community from drunk drivers," Parris said.
St. Thomas Deputy Police Chief Dwayne DeGraff encouraged residents who are out having a good time to play the part of being their brother's keeper and if they see someone who appears to have had too much to drink, they should convince them not to drive.
"Even if you are already on the road and you see someone swerving back and forth or braking and going and driving crazy, call 911 and report it," he said. "You may save a life."
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.