JAMESTOWN,N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – Over the past five years in North Dakota, more than 300 people have died in an alcohol-related crash.
These lives lost were 100 percent preventable if a driver had made the decision to drive sober. In an effort to save lives, law enforcement will be increasing patrols statewide to remove impaired drivers from the road as part of the enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over (DSOGPO), from December 16 through January 31.
In conjunction with the DSOGPO enforcement campaign, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) will launch a new impaired driving campaign that tells the story of a fatal crash that happened in Mandan.
That fatal crash occurred on October 29, 2011, when Taylor Berhow lost three of his friends in a motor vehicle crash because of a drunk driver. That drunk driver was Taylor. As a result of the crash, not only was Taylor responsible for the deaths of his friends, but he was convicted of manslaughter. At the time of the crash, Taylor was 23 years old and had a blood alcohol content level that was more than three times the legal driving limit. Today, he speaks to groups around the state, including high school students, about everything he’s facing and the decisions that led him to this point, hoping to deter as many people as possible from making the same bad choices he did. Read Taylor’s story.
“During a saturation enforcement campaign like Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, we run extra patrols targeting those motorists who display the signs of being impaired,” said Valley City Police Chief Phil Hatcher. “The extra time and visibility are some of the best tools we can deploy to make a difference on our roadways and save lives.”
Last year during the holiday season (mid-December – late January), two people were killed and 43 injured in alcohol-related crashes.
The NDDOT administers federal grant funding as part of an overall effort to prevent deaths and injuries on North Dakota roads. Learn more about these and other traffic safety initiatives at dot.nd.gov, ndcodefortheroad.org or join the conversation on the Code for the Road Facebook or Twitter page.
Families are invited to create memorials for those who have died in crashes in North Dakota at ndcodefortheroad.org/memorial.
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