Plan ahead this Labor Day holiday: Drive sober or get pulled over

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Updated: Aug. 19, 2023 at 9:00 AM MDT
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PENNINGTON COUNTY, S.D. (KEVN) - As summer comes to a close, many Americans see the Labor Day weekend as an unofficial end to summer. However, it’s important to remember to celebrate safely. This year, law enforcement in Pennington County is participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving. From August 18 to September 4, 2023, deputies will be working together to remove drunk drivers from the roads and protect the community. Whether you have big plans or just want to relax, make sure to prioritize safety during the holiday weekend.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 13,384 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2021 – that’s one person every 39 minutes. On average, more than 11,000 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes each year from 2017 to 2021. This is why the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office is working together with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to festivities during the end of summer and Labor Day weekend, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

“We want our community members to understand that it’s our first priority to keep people safe, so we’re asking everyone to plan ahead if they know they’ll be out drinking,” said Patrol Sergeant Jesse Huschle. “The Drive Sober campaign is an awareness effort to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal and it takes lives. Help us protect the community and put an end to this behavior,” he said.

During the 2021 Labor Day holiday period (6 p.m. September 3 – 5:59 a.m. September 7), there were 531 crash fatalities nationwide. Of these 531 traffic crash fatalities, 41% (216) involved a drunk driver, and more than a quarter (27%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC). Among drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2021, 488 of those drivers were drunk, with BACs of .08 or higher.

For more information on impaired driving, visit

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