Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, and Iowans love to celebrate with barbecues and road trips.
It is important to be aware as you hit the highways, that the Labor Day holiday weekend is one of the deadliest times of the year for drunk-driving fatalities.
During the 2019 Labor Day holiday period from Aug. 31-Sept. 3, there were 451 traffic fatalities nationwide. 45% of those involved drivers who had been drinking, and more than one-third (38%) involved drivers who were over the legal limit.
Ultimately, drinking and driving is a choice, and it is a choice that puts all road users at risk.
In Iowa in 2019, there were six fatalities over the three-day weekend, three of them involving a drunken driver.
To help keep people safe on our roadways and put an end to drunken driving, extra law enforcement will be out, both locally and nationally, in support of the 2021 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign from Aug. 20 through Sep. 6.
A statement from the Iowa Department of Public Safety and Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau said impaired driving was one of the deadliest and most often committed crimes, despite being among the most preventable.
“It has become a serious safety epidemic in our country,” the statement said. “We can all do our part to put the brakes on drunk and drugged driving. Remember that it is never OK to drink/drug and drive. Even if you plan to have only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or use a ride serve to get home safely.
“If you see a drunken driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement. Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely. These are small tasks that can make a big difference to save lives.”