It’s won’t be a holiday this weekend for law enforcement, which includes Pauls Valley’s police department already on the hunt as part of a national campaign focused on finding drunk drivers.

The campaign for the Labor Day weekend is called “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.”

Here in PV the campaign is off to a good start as local officers have already made nine impaired driving arrests as of earlier in the week.

PV’s police chief, Mitch McGill, sees the campaign not only as a time to put more emphasis on arresting drunk drivers but also remind the public to stay safe and avoid driving if you’ve had an alcoholic beverage.

“This is DUI prevention; to make sure people are doing the responsible thing during the holidays,” McGill said.

“We always do this but with the Labor Day weekend we place an added emphasis on looking for drunk drivers,” he said.

“I also see it as a chance for us to remind the public to be safe, to use designated drivers or make sure they have a safe way to get home without drinking and driving.”

McGill said the national campaign officially began Aug. 20 and will continue through this weekend’s Labor Day holiday.

“The Pauls Valley Police officers will be out in full force to help get more impaired drivers off local roadways.”

PV’s chief also sees a holiday weekend like this one as a good time for law enforcement officers to be reminded to stay sharp as they look for drunk drivers during their patrols of the city.

“This is a reminder to them as well as the public to pay attention.”

Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher is illegal in all 50 states. Yet in 2008 alone, nearly 12,000 people were killed in U.S. motor vehicle crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“It’s clear that too many people still don’t understand that impaired driving is no accident — nor is it a victimless crime. So our message to motorists is simple and unwavering — if you get caught driving while impaired, you will be arrested. No exceptions,” McGill said.

For more information on the national crackdown, visit the High-Visibility Enforcement Campaign Headquarters at www.StopImpairedDriving.org.

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