Aug. 19, 2022 –Labor Day is a traditional day of rest for workers around the country, but Louisiana law enforcement officers are working extra time through the holiday to get impaired drivers off the road during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

In 2020, there were 446 motor vehicle crashes resulting in injuries or fatalities during the Labor Day holiday in Louisiana, the most since 2016, according to the Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety at LSU. More than one in 10 of those crashes involved drivers who had been drinking, according to Lisa Freeman, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

“Drivers who had been drinking were involved in 47 crashes resulting in three fatalities and 67 injuries during that holiday period,” Freeman said. “There is zero excuse for drunk driving, and our law enforcement partners will have zero tolerance for those offenders.”

Louisiana is participating in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign to eliminate impaired driving. The enforcement campaign is in effect through Labor Day, September 5.

Alcohol impairment remains a serious public health concern in the United States. In 2020, 11,654 people were killed in crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Louisiana, 301 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2020, which is more than an 11% increase in deaths from 2019.

“The only way to ensure you are not driving under the influence of alcohol is to abstain from drinking if you are going to be driving,” Freeman said. “Even one drink can compromise you as a driver.”

Drivers who are under the influence of drugs – even legally prescribed medications – also are subject to arrest, she said.

“Anything that makes you drowsy, slows your reactions, alters your senses, or impacts your judgment is an impairing substance,” Freeman said. “Even if the drug you take or the alcohol you drink is legal, driving a car or truck when you’re impaired is illegal, and you are subject to being arrested.”