Labor Day traffic campaign aimed at halting drunk driving

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Law enforcement agencies across Nebraska are ramping up for a Labor Day traffic enforcement campaign.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation – Highway Safety Office will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to get drunk drivers off the roads.

The high-visibility enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from August 16 through September 2, 2019.

Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our state’s roadways.

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said, "The Omaha Police Department is committed to the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Joining our law enforcement partners, we are striving for a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend.”

Last year, 33 percent of Nebraska’s fatal crashes were alcohol-involved, an increase from the 30% recorded in 2017. Drivers aged 21-34 are over-represented in alcohol related crashes. These drivers are involved in 51% of alcohol involved crashes. By comparison, they are only involved in 32% of the total crashes.

Nebraska had more than 1,600 alcohol involved crashes, 54 alcohol involved fatal crashes and 682 alcohol-involved injury crashes last year.

“Labor Day should be a time for friends and family to come together to enjoy the last days of summer,” said Mark Segerstrom, Administrator of the NDOT-HSO. “We need commitment from our community members that they’ll keep the streets free of drunk drivers so that everyone can have a safe holiday. This is a campaign to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal and it takes lives. Help us put an end to this senseless behavior,” Segerstrom said

During the 2018 Labor Day holiday period Nebraska law enforcement participated in 18 statewide checkpoints and made 246 DWI/DUI arrests.