If you’re heading to a football game this weekend, be warned. State troopers, sheriff’s deputies and police
officers will be out in force, ramping up DUI enforcement as part of the Labor Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
“Whether your team color is Saints black and gold or any color in between, we’re betting you’d rather spend
game night with friends or family than staring at the inside a jail cell,” said Louisiana Highway Safety
Commission Executive Director John LeBlanc.
Last year, over Labor Day weekend, there were 341 fatal and injury crashes in Louisiana, with 48 involving
alcohol, based on preliminary data. Eleven people died.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is sponsoring the Drive Sober campaign with funding from the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Find tips for enjoying football games responsibly below.
The two-week campaign, which runs through Labor Day, provides grants to state and local law
enforcement agencies throughout the state working overtime to curb impaired driving.
There were 234 people killed in impaired driving crashes in Louisiana in 2013 — a 37.6 percent drop from
2007, when 375 people died.
Still, LeBlanc pointed out, 42 percent of traffic fatalities in Louisiana in 2013 were alcohol-related, which underscores the need to remain vigilant in preventing impaired driving and enforcing impaired driving laws.
“Forty-two percent of traffic fatalities in Louisiana in 2013 have been judged to be alcohol-related,” said
“The increased police patrols and checkpoints of the Drive Sober campaign send a clear message to
would-be impaired drivers: You’d better think twice before drinking and driving.”
Traffic crashes are defined by NHTSA as “alcohol-impaired” crashes if a driver or non-motorist had a
measurable Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 or higher.
“Alcohol-related” is an estimate based on a classification model developed by the LSU HSRG to predict alcohol involvement in crashes where the test results are unknown.
Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in Louisiana, with a first-offense arrest costing thousands of
dollars in fines, court costs, attorney fees and even jail time.
An adult driver is legally intoxicated in Louisiana if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or higher. The limit for drivers under 21 is .02 BAC.
Persons with a DWI conviction on their record risk other problems, such as loss of a job or a suspended driver’s license. They might also have to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
Here are a few tips for enjoying football games responsibly:
- If you’re planning to drink, don’t drive.
- Plan for a sober ride home before leaving for the game.
- Pace yourself. Eat plenty of food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
- Stop drinking after the third quarter.
- Remember: Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Make sure your designated driver is sober, not just less intoxicated than you.
Ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend, or family member to come get you; or if possible stay
where you are for the night.
Wear your seat belt. Louisiana law requires everyone in the front and back seat to buckle up. It’s your best
defense in a crash.
Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.