Law officers across Iowa will launch a two-week crackdown on drunk drivers beginning today. Randy Hunefeld is coordinating the Special Traffic Enforcement Program or STEP through the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau. Hunefeld says this STEP is called "Over the Limit, Under Arrest."
It’s part of a national campaign that places special emphasis on pulling over drunk drivers and other law breakers. Hunefeld says there will be plenty of law enforcement officers on the prowl through September 3rd, monitoring the moves of motorists. He says about 250 law enforcement agencies across Iowa will be taking part in the STEP. Hunefeld says a large number of arrests were made last year during the traffic enforcement periods, and plenty of tickets were issued as well.
He says nearly 35,000 violations were reported by 219 law enforcement agencies statewide. Despite the fact alcohol-related traffic fatalities declined from 111 in 2007 to 79 in 2008, Hunefeld says far too many lives are still being lost to this senseless criminal act.
"A person has to make up his mind if he’s drinking too much to find a designated driver or a taxicab or call a friend or a relative to come and pick them up," Hunefeld says. "Far too often, people that are drinking get behind the wheel and they make those mistakes that end up hurting somebody or even killing them."
Another STEP will be held in November during the Thanksgiving holiday period.