One in three car crash fatalities in the U.S. involve drunk driving, which is part of the reason behind state police departments’ increased efforts to stop drunk drivers in their tracks this holiday season.
Officials from the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement are aiming to curb the number of drunk drivers linked to over-serving at restaurants and bars. In an effort to limit these situations, undercover officers will be placed in bars and restaurants to ensure intoxicated customers don’t try to drive themselves home.
Delaware, in particular, is increasing efforts to curb drink driving. Lieutenant Kevin Jones explained that preventing DUIs is an uphill battle, but an important action that must be taken. The holiday season, as well as the end of football season, are big drinking times in the U.S., which is why Jones said the state is “stepping it up” during these critical times of year.
Undercover officers in bars and restaurants are going to pay extra attention to those patrons who are already visibly intoxicated. Not only will officers aim to stop those patrons from driving home, they will be on the lookout for any bartenders serving them.
The Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement plans to train business owners and employees on the laws that they must follow before starting the undercover operations, which will run from December through February. As part of the initiative, bartenders who over-serve intoxicated patrons could face criminal charges.
While state police departments are focusing on tickets and criminal charges in an effort to punish drunk drivers, one Canadian police department decided there was another way to start the conversation about preventing drunk driving.
The Kensington Police Department on Prince Edward Island, Canada, discovered a more musical way to deter people from driving while drunk this holiday season. The officers said in a post on Facebook that if they caught someone driving while drunk, not only would they issue criminal charges, but they would make them listen to a Nickelback cassette on the way to the station.
“When we catch you, and we will catch you, on top of a hefty fine, a criminal charge and a years … driving suspension we will also provide you with a bonus gift of playing the office’s … copy of Nickelback in the cruiser on the way to jail,” the post read.
In addition to looking for drunk drivers, police will be on the lookout for distracted drivers, passengers who are not properly buckled in, and drivers who violate the Move Over Law, which mandates that drivers must slow down and move to the left lane when passing emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road.
Approximately 29.1 million people have admitted to driving drunk in the last year. These measures are designed to help curb the number of drunk drivers and alcohol-related accidents that could occur this season.