Peabody police are joining 125 other Bay State law enforcement agencies through Labor Day weekend to crack down on drunk drivers as part of a national initiative called "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."The campaign runs Aug. 16 to Sept. 2 and essentially asks local police departments to devote more manpower to discouraging and curtailing impaired driving before tragedy can strike. The effort is funded by a federal grant.
Police say impaired driving is one of America’s most common and deadliest crimes -- there is one related fatality every 53 minutes. In Massachusetts, 114 people died as a result of impaired driving incidents in 2011, they say.
Police also remind the motoring public that there's a hefty financial burden as well -- drunk drivers can easily pay more than $5,000 for a first offense between legal fees, increased insurance rates and lost income. Violators can also face jail time or loss of their license.
“Twice as many alcohol-impaired crashes occur over the weekend and four times as many occur at night; we will be especially vigilant during these high-risk times when impaired drivers are most likely to be on our roads,” said Police Chief Robert Champagne. He says his department will be intensifying enforcement during the campaign.