WYDOT Unveils New Year’s ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Campaign
According to the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT), officers, deputies and troopers will work together from Dec. 31, through Jan. 3, 2022, to take drunk drivers off the roads.
The roads and highways in Wyoming will be staffed with additional law enforcement over the long holiday weekend with the specific purpose of detecting and apprehending impaired drivers as part of the "drive sober or get pulled over" campaign.
Pete Abrams, WYDOT Law Enforcement Liaison, said there are 32 law enforcement agencies across the state, plus Wyoming Highway Patrol, that participate in the program.
Those agencies use grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to pay extra overtime to officers from Dec. 15 to Jan. 3.
Abrams said he is not sure exactly how many extra officers there will be on the road due to the numerous different agencies that are participating.
According to data from the Casper Police Department from 2018 to 2020, the most crashes and arrests happen on Saturday, followed by Sunday.
From 2018 to 2020, there were a total of 67 impaired driving crashes that took place on Saturdays, 52 on Sundays, and 37 on Thursdays.
During that same time period, there were 171 impaired driving arrests on Saturdays, 142 on Sundays, and 107 on Fridays.
In Natrona County, the Casper Police Department is the only agency participating in the program this year.
There were 722 alcohol-related crashes in Wyoming during 2020, and of these there were 33 alcohol-related fatal crashes and 38 people died as a result.
These crashes accounted for 30% of the 127 total traffic fatalities in Wyoming during 2020.
In 2021, there have been 112 fatalities, with 30 of those deaths involving alcohol or controlled substance.
Kebin Haller, colonel and administrator of the Wyoming Highway Patrol, said
"Law enforcement all across Wyoming is reminding everyone and especially those who get behind the wheel to never drive drunk or impaired. Let's end 2021 and welcome 2022 on a good note and work together to ensure that no one dies on our roads or highways from this preventable crime. We ask that everyone commit to not drinking if they're going to drive. If you are going to a party or you know you're going to drink this weekend, please make sure and have a plan to designate a sober driver or to use safe transportation to get home.”
The release recommends how to avoid drunk driving, including: using a designated sober driver, plan to use public transportation, cab or rideshare to get home safely, contact law enforcement directly or dial 911 if you see a drunk driver on the road, or take the keys away and plan to get home safely friends or family member who are about to drink and drive.