The year-end “You Drink and Drive, You Lose” campaign is getting underway across Nebraska tonight.
“This year, we have 19 Nebraska police departments, 28 sheriff offices, and all six troop areas of the Nebraska State Patrol [taking part],” Fred Zwonecheck, Nebraska Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office (NDOT-HSO) administrator tells Nebraska Radio Network.
The office uses grants from the federal Highway Safety Office to get more officers on the road, looking for impaired drivers.
“The grants we’ve awarded will add about 6,700 hours of additional enforcement between December 15th and January 1st,” Zwonecheck explains. “There will be a lot of activity taking place.”
Sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrol in high incident areas will occur.
Last year, those efforts resulted in hundreds of arrests and citations.
“There were 303 individuals arrested for alcohol DUI, 31 for drunk driving DUI, 71 minor in possession,” he points out.
Despite all the messaging, he says some still don’t get it, but many do realize there are other options for getting home.
“People do have designated drivers,” Zwonecheck says. “There also people who are seeking alternative transportation. I think, in the metropolitan areas, Uber, more available taxis, and we now have Triple A’s ‘Tow to Go.’”
In addition to not drinking and driving, those out on the road need to be safe.
“Make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up,” he advises.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:39]